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Nation/World

September 10, 2012

Romney, Obama aim at swing voters on health care

(Continued)

The GOP nominee, who attended church in Boston before debate practice sessions yesterday, didn't offer specifics for how he'd deal with the affordability of insurance, but suggested competition would help bring down costs. For seniors, Romney has called for restructuring Medicare by giving retirees a government payment that they would use to choose between traditional Medicare and private insurance.

Romney aides dismissed the idea that the candidate's comments about the defense cuts or health care were an effort to appear less partisan with the race for undecided voters now under way.

Spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney was sharper in his criticism of Obama than he was of House Republicans on military cuts. Madden also said calling for the repeal of the 2010 health care law and supporting some of its provisions are consistent.

"Repealing Obamacare is a focus because it costs too much and the taxes and regulations are hurting small business. That's common sense," Madden said. "Affordability and portability of health care insurance aren't partisan issues."

Obama, campaign for a second day in Florida, tried to move past a weak jobs report Friday and highlight the impact of Romney's proposals on older workers and those nearing retirement.

The president promoted a study showing that future retirees under Romney's plan would pay tens of thousands of dollars more for health care over their retirement period. The report was rejected quickly by Romney's campaign, which faulted Obama for relying on "discredited attacks" and noted the study was conducted by Obama's former adviser.

Obama told about 3,000 supporters in Melbourne, Fla., that if Romney had his way, Americans will pay more so insurers could make more. "No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies," he said.

In Ohio, another critical battleground, Vice President Joe Biden piled on, mocking Republicans for saying they want to protect Medicare and claiming that under Romney's leadership, benefits would be slashed.

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