Obama Ad Warns Seniors: McCain Will Gut Medicare

11/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Keeping attention on pocket-book issues, Barack Obama's campaign put out an ad on Friday accusing John McCain of wanting to tax health care benefits and cut Medicare.

Titled "It Gets Worse," the spot plays off a recent Wall Street Journal article in which McCain's economic adviser Douglas Holtz Eakin admitted to a reporter that the Senator's reforms could "result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years" to Medicaid and Medicare. The campaign - which puts that figure at $882 billion for Medicare alone (taken from a study of the Center for American Progress Action Fund) - uses several shots of distressed seniors to drive the message home.

"John McCain's health care plan... First we learned he's going to tax health care benefits to pay for part of it," goes the ad. "Now the Wall Street Journal reports John McCain would pay for the rest of his health care plan 'with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid...'"

The McCain campaign would not provide details to the Wall Street Journal about which elements of the programs would be cut. They insisted that the saved cash would go to cover McCain's planned health care tax credit, though critics note that the credit covers only half of the average annual health cost paid by Americans.

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