Democrats’ Plan Threatens Medicare on Its 45th Birthday

July 1, 2011

FYI, a similar version of this release below went out to the following districts: Jason Altmire (PA-04), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Tim Bishop (NY-01), Dan Boren (OK-02), Leonard Boswell (IA-03), Bruce Braley (IA-01), Dennis Cardoza (CA-18), Russ Carnahan (MO-03), Ben Chandler (KY-06), David Cicilline (RI-01), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jim Costa (CA-20), Jerry Costello (IL-12), Mark Critz (PA-12), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Raul Grijalva (AZ-07), Brian Higgins (NY-27), Jim Himes (CT-04), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), Kathy Hochul (NY-26), Tim Holden (PA-17), Rush Holt (NJ-12), Steve Israel (NY-02), Bill Keating (MA-10), Dale Kildee (MI-05), Ron Kind (WI-03), Larry Kissell (NC-08), Rick Larsen (WA-02), David Loebsack (IA-02), Jim Matheson (UT-02), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Jerry McNerney (CA-11), Michael Michaud (ME-02), Brad Miller (NC-13), Bill Owens (NY-23), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Gary Peters (MI-09), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), David Price (NC-04), Nick Rahall (WV-03), Mike Ross (AR-04), Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Heath Shuler (NC-11), Adam Smith (WA-09), Betty Sutton (OH-13), John Tierney (MA-06), Niki Tsongas (MA-05), Pete Visclosky (IN-01), Tim Walz (MN-01), David Wu (OR-01), John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Shuler’s Plan Threatens Medicare on Its 45th Birthday
North Carolina Democrat’s Plan Would Endanger Access to Healthcare & Cut Benefits for Seniors

Washington — As Medicare turns 45 years old today, Heath Shuler and his fellow Democrats continue to advance their plan for the program which would have devastating consequences for the seniors relying on it. Shuler and his Democrat colleagues’ plan would place unaccountable bureaucrats between seniors and their doctors and eventually slash benefits because of their unsustainable policies. Instead of protecting Medicare for current seniors and saving it for future generations, Shuler and his fellow Democrats are pushing for more bureaucrats that would result in fewer healthcare options and cuts to benefits.

“Rather than protecting and saving Medicare on its 45th birthday, Heath Shuler and his Democrat leaders are pushing through their board of unaccountable bureaucrats who would stand between North Carolina seniors and their doctors,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. “In addition, Shuler’s Democrat plan is the only one that would slash benefits for seniors since it sets Medicare on the catastrophic path to bankruptcy.”

Recently, 270 different healthcare providers voiced their outrage at the Democrats’ plan to empower unelected bureaucrats to stand between seniors and their doctors:

“All told, some 270 stakeholder groups signed a letter to members of Congress urging them to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is a panel of experts, appointed by the president, that will have the power to cut Medicare payments.

“The organizations represent doctors, other healthcare providers, employers, drug and medical device manufacturers and some disease-specific advocates — in short, a robust cross-section of the groups that stand to lose as a new and powerful body looks for Medicare savings.” (Sam Baker, “270 healthcare groups back IPAB repeal,” The Hill‘s Healthwatch Blog, 6/24/11)

And since their plan sets Medicare on the path to bankruptcy, benefit cuts of 17 percent or more would be necessary:

“The long-range financial imbalance could be addressed in several different ways. In theory, the standard 2.90-percent payroll tax and the additional tax 0.9-percent tax on high-income earners could be immediately increased by the amount of the actuarial deficit to 3.69 percent, or expenditures could be reduced by a corresponding amount. Note, however, that these changes would require an immediate 24-percent increase in the tax rate or an immediate 17-percent reduction in expenditures.” (“2011 Annual Report,” The Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, 5/13/11)

On Medicare’s 45th birthday, Heath Shuler and his fellow Democrats are still quietly pushing their plan for the program that would limit healthcare options for seniors and eventually slash benefits for enrollees. Unfortunately, Medicare would now enter its twilight years if the disastrous results from Shuler’s Democrat plan become a reality.

Democrats’ Plan Threatens Medicare on Its 45th Birthday #madeinwdc