Obama defends Medicare, Social Security

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — President Barack Obama says programs like Medicare and Social Security are not “handouts,” telling seniors that he will defend health and retirement benefits for today’s seniors and future generations.

Obama says in a video address to the AARP that Medicare and Social Security “are not handouts. You paid into these programs your whole life. You earned them.”

The president says that some of the discussion during the presidential campaign “hasn’t been completely on the level,” pointing to allegations that Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would remake Medicare in a way that would hurt future seniors.

Obama was taking questions from AARP members attending a “Life(at)50+” conference in New Orleans.

— Associated Press