AARP Boos Ryan for Calling for Repeal of Obamacare

By Melanie Arter | September 21, 2012 | 5:08 PM EDT

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. (AP)

( GOP presidential candidate Paul Ryan was booed Friday while speaking at an AARP event when he suggested repealing Obamacare.

“The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare, because it represents the worst of both worlds,” he said, followed by boos from the crowd.

“Seniors are threatened by Obamacare – a law that would force steep cuts to real benefits in real time for real people. Meanwhile, younger Americans are burdened by an ever growing national debt and a diminished future,” the Wisconsin congressman said.

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“Here’s the good news: by embracing commonsense reforms now, we can get ahead of the problem and keep promises people have organized their lives around. You see if we reform Medicare for my generation, we can protect it for those in or near retirement today,” he said, speaking at the AARP Life @ 50 + Conference.

After the crowd booed Ryan for calling for the repeal of Obamacare, he said that the new health care law “weakens Medicare for today’s seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation.”

“First it funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future,” Ryan said.

Ryan disputed President Barack Obama’s claim that raiding Medicare would actually strengthen the program and improve its solvency.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s just not true. The money wasn’t walled off to stay in Medicare. Instead, the law turned Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare,” Ryan said to more boos from the crowd.

“You don’t have to take my word for it. Ask the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He works for the Obama administration, and his job is to look after your Medicare,” Ryan said.

“Last year we invited him to Congress to answer a simple question: If President Obama’s Medicare cuts were used to pay for news spending in Obamacare, how can they also improve Medicare’s solvency? His answer: They can’t,” Ryan said. “It’s simple: you can’t spend the same dollar twice.

“His exact words were, ‘It takes two sets of money to make it happen.’ President Obama spent one set on a government takeover of health care, and he never provided the other to strengthen Medicare. So, there it is from the guy whose job it is to know,” he said.

“If anybody tries to tell you that Obamacare strengthened Medicare, just ask them: Where is the other $716 billion?” Ryan added.

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