Medicare costs: Center for American Progress study says Romney plan would increase costs

Obama Hits Opponent on Medicare

Obama Hits Opponent on Medicare

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Sept. 9 2012 1:55 PM

Obama Says Romney’s Medicare Plan Would Increase Costs

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President Obama addresses a crowd at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida on Sunday

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama seems determined to change the subject away from the disappointing unemployment numbers that came out Friday. Instead, while campaigning in Florida, he is focusing on Medicare, unleashing a new study from an allied group that claims Mitt Romney’s plan would translate into soaring costs. The study by the Center for American Progress Action Fund claims that someone who retires in 2030 (meaning someone who is 48 years old today), would see Medicare costs increase $124,600 over their retirement period, reports the Associated Press.

The study was co-authored by Harvard economist David Cutler, who was an adviser to Obama during the last presidential campaign, reports the National Journal. Perhaps most significant about the study is that it claims the cost increases won’t just be seen in the future, noting that Romney’s plan to get rid of the health care overhaul would affect those entering retirement now. It notes that those who turn 65 now would end up paying about $11,000 extra under the Republican's plan, mainly due to the reinstatement of limits on prescription drug coverage, while those who are now 54 would end up paying an additional $59,500. The Romney campaign quickly dismissed the analysis, describing it as a “sign of desperation.”

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"One report just said that by the end of the next decade, our opponent's plan would mean $16 billion and $26 billion for insurance companies," Obama said at a rally at the Florida Institute of Technology, reports USA Today. "So basically your costs would rise by thousands, so their profits can rise by billions."

The continuing focus on Medicare illustrates how the Obama campaign would rather play offense on an issue that has long been more favorable to Democrats, than play defense on the economy and jobs.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.