The Obama team has wrapped up the Medicare issue into the larger context of the Healthcare system and the National Budget. On the other hand Romney, Ryan and their team have been honing in on Medicare as a stand-alone issue.
Following Romney’s announcement that Paul Ryan would be his GOP running mate, coverage of the topic of Entitlements skyrocketed. This is due to the explosion in Medicare discussion brought on by Paul Ryan. How each campaign framed the issue of Medicare shows how they are approaching the issue.
The Romney campaign has viewed Medicare as an isolated issue, wrapped up in the discussion of Entitlements. Over 80% of the statements from Romney and his campaign staff with the mention of “medicare” have been about Entitlements, with a slightly over half (52%) of those statements negative to Obama and just 15% positive to Romney.
On the other hand, the Obama campaign has framed Medicare as something that intersects other issues. 32.8% of the statements from Obama and his staff that include the word “medicare” have been in the context of the Healthcare system, the national Budget or the Economy. Therefore, Obama and his staff have discussed Medicare as it relates to other things, and not just as an Entitlement. Similar to the Romney campaign, the Obama team has amplified significant negative coverage on the issue. In their statements that include the word “medicare” and are about Entitlements, over half (54%) are negative to Romney and just 17% are positive to Obama.