President Barack Obama
WEEKLY ADDRESS: Preserving and Strengthening Medicare
August 27, 2012
In this weekís address, President
Obama spoke to the American people about the critical need to strengthen
and preserve Medicare for our seniors and future generations, because
those who have worked hard throughout their lives should not lose their
homes or life savings just because they get sick. Through the
Presidentís Affordable Care Act, nearly 5.4 million seniors have already
saved an average of more than $700 on prescription drugs, preventive
care services like mammograms are free without co-pay, and the
Presidentís plan extends the life of Medicare by almost a decade by
cracking down on waste, fraud, and overpayments. Republicans in Congress
have put forward a very different plan that turns Medicare into a
voucher programóunder one plan forcing seniors to pay an extra $6,400
out of their own pocket for care-and effectively ends Medicare as we
know it. The President believes that our seniors deserve better and will
work with anyone to keep improving the current system to give our
seniors the security and peace of mind they have earned.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
August 25, 2012
Hi, everybody. Over the last few weeks, thereís been a lot of talk about
Medicare, with a lot of accusations and misinformation flying around. So
today I want to step back for a minute and share with you some actual
facts and news about the program.
This week, we found out that, thanks to the health care law we passed,
nearly 5.4 million seniors with Medicare have saved over $4.1 billion on
prescription drugs. Thatís an average of more than $700 per person. And
this year alone, 18 million seniors with Medicare have taken advantage
of preventive care benefits like mammograms or other cancer screenings
that now come at no extra cost.
Thatís progress. It means that seniors everywhere are getting the care
they need for less. And if you have questions about what benefits youíre
entitled to, you can go to www.medicare.gov to find out.
This news is also a reminder of whatís really at stake when we talk
about the future of Medicare. Itís not about overheated rhetoric at
election time. Itís about a promise this country made to our seniors
that says if you put in a lifetime of hard work, you shouldnít lose your
home or your life savings just because you get sick.
Over the last 47 years, millions of Americans have worked for that
promise. Theyíve earned it. And for many seniors, the care theyíve
gotten through Medicare has made all the difference in the world.
Growing up as the son of a single mother, I was raised with the help of
my grandparents. I saw how important things like Medicare and Social
Security were in their lives. And I saw the peace of mind it gave them.
Thatís why, as President, my goal has been to strengthen these programs
now, and preserve them for future generations. Because todayís seniors
deserve that same peace of mind. And the millions of Americans who are
working hard right now deserve to know that the care they need will be
available when they need it.
Thatís why, as part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors deeper
discounts on prescription drugs, and made sure preventive care like
mammograms are free without a co-pay. Weíve extended the life of
Medicare by almost a decade. And Iíve proposed reforms that will save
Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care
system and reining in insurance companies Ė reforms that wonít touch
your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.
in Congress have put forward a very different plan. They want to turn
Medicare into a voucher program. That means that instead of being
guaranteed Medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance, but
it wouldnít keep up with costs. As a result, one plan would force
seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get
now. And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it.
I think our seniors deserve better. Iím willing to work with anyone to
keep improving the current system, but I refuse to do anything that
undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get
Here in America, we believe in keeping our promises Ė especially to our
seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work and deserve to enjoy
their golden years. Thatís what Medicare is all about. Thatís why we
need to strengthen and preserve it for future generations. And as long
as I have the honor of serving as your President, thatís exactly what