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Sep 21, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard

(WAPO) In his remarks to the AARP Friday, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was booed when he said the “first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare.”

Ryan was unfazed. “I had a feeling there would be mixed reactions, so let me get into it,” he said.

“It weakens Medicare for today’s seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation,” Ryan argued. “First, it funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future.”

Ryan was applauded at other points in his remarks, particularly when introducing his mother and when pledging to reduce the deficit. “We’re pleased we had the opportunity to speak to this crowd,” said Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck.

Ryan’s own budget contains the same cuts to future Medicare spending as the Affordable Care Act, although Mitt Romney has distanced himself from that plan. The bureaucrat reference is to the new Independent Payment Advisory Board, whose members must be approved by the Senate and whose recommendations can be rejected by Congress. Politifact has rated Ryan’s description of the board “mostly false.”

The AARP is a non-partisan organization, but the group supported the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare. Obama appeared before the group earlier in the day (via satellite) and offered a sharp critique of his Republican rivals’ plans to revamp Medicare, saying it would leave seniors “at the mercy of insurance companies.”