MedPagesToday.com reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As it was on Tuesday and Wednesday, healthcare continued to be a central theme here as the Democratic Convention wrapped up on Thursday night, from the first speaker right up to President Obama.
Speaking of his opponent, Obama said that Mitt Romney's approach to healthcare could be summed up this way: "since government can't do everything, it should do almost nothing. If you can't afford health insurance, hope that you don't get sick."
"You know what?" he said. "That's not who we are. That's not what this country's about."
Obama also pledged that he would "never turn Medicare into a voucher," referring to Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's proposal to convert Medicare into a premium support program. "No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned."
Instead, Obama said he would "reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of healthcare -- not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more."
And he gave a nod to reproductive rights as he urged voters to re-elect him. "Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control healthcare choices that women should make for themselves -- only you can make sure that doesn't happen," he said.
Like Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden took Romney and Ryan to task for their Medicare proposal. "You heard them talk about how they cared so much about Medicare. How much they wanted to preserve it. That's what they told you," he said.
"But what they didn't tell you is that the plan they already put down on paper would immediately cut benefits to more than 30 million seniors already on Medicare," Biden continued.
"What they didn't tell you is the plan they're proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016. ... They're not for preserving Medicare at all. They're for a new plan. They're for Vouchercare. Look, folks, that's not courage. That's not even truthful."
One of the earliest speakers to mention Medicare was a retiree from West Palm Beach, Florida, Carol Berman -- who played the "Everywoman" role in the Medicare story.
Berman told the delegates that the Romney/Ryan premium support proposal for Medicare "has me terrified. If Romney gets into office, the Medicare my three daughters earn will be turned into "Voucher Care," which won't keep up with costs," she said.
Noting that Medicare beneficiaries might have to pay as much as $6,000 per year in additional costs under the Republicans' plan, she added, "Six thousand dollars may be pocket change for Mitt Romney, but it's a lot of money for my family. Republicans are trying to end Medicare as we know it, but we are not going to let them."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, spoke about being a breast cancer survivor and why that increased her appreciation of the Affordable Care Act.
"I know what it's like to sit in the waiting room ... wondering how many anniversaries you'll have with your husband. That moment is terrifying and no one should go through it without health insurance," she said.
"When President Obama passed health reform, it was personal," Wasserman Schultz continued "When Governor Romney says he'll repeal Obamacare and put insurance companies back in charge of healthcare, that's personal too."
Reproductive health also was mentioned early on. "As a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously, and today it's under attack," said Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy. "That's not the kind of future I want for our daughters. Now is not the time to roll back the rights of women. Now is the time to move this country forward."
Earlier this year, the Catholic Church protested an Obama administration rule requiring nearly all employers -- even Catholic ones -- who provide insurance to their employees to include coverage of birth control services.