July 28--CONCORD -- Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz campaigned around New Hampshire Friday touting President Obama health care reform and Medicare as the 47th anniversary of the program nears.
Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic Congresswoman from Florida, campaigned on the Affordable Care Act and its elimination of the donut hole for prescription drugs and extending the Medicare Trust Fund for eight years.
"Mitt Romney and the Republicans in Congress want to end Medicare as we know it," she said at a news conference. "They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program and that will turn the health care safety net for seniors into tatters."
While Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats touted the program that provides health insurance for the elderly, about 20 Romney supporters held signs outside the conference for their candidate, or saying "We did build this," referring to a statement by President Barack Obama that business owners owe their success to the government.
Wasserman Schultz cited a Congressional Budget Office report that a Republican plan for Medicare proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan would increase premiums by more than $6,000 a year.
"No senior citizen I know can afford $6,000 more a year," said Wasserman Schultz, who has a vacation home in Newbury on Lake Sunapee.
She noted that despite the dire predictions of Republicans, Medicare enrollment is up 17 percent this year while premiums are down 16 percent.
However Republicans said Wasserman Schultz's rhetoric does not reflect reality.
"Debbie talks a good game, but her rhetoric ignores reality. To help pay for ObamaCare, the Democrats cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion, a plan supported by Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter," said state Republican Party chair Wayne MacDonald. "At a time when seniors face increasing costs, it's outrageous that Democrats not only cut this important program, but they also have no plan to prevent it from going bankrupt."
Later, Wasserman Schultz said Republicans and Democrats need to sit down together and develop a long-range plan for Medicare funding. But she said Republicans have refused to sit down with the president or Democrats because the only job they care about is Obama's.
Wasserman Schultz held events in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Laconia as well as Concord Friday.
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