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September 4th, 2012
 

Braley Gutted Medicare to Pay for Obamacare

At a time when Iowans need real leaders to preserve, protect, and strengthen Medicare for current and future generations, the three-term liberal Democrat incumbent Bruce Braley voted to gut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare and poses a “direct threat” to Medicare, according to U.S. congressional candidate Ben Lange.

Lange believes we must “honor the promise” our country made to our seniors, while reforming the program for future generations.

“The problem with Washington politicians like Bruce Braley is that they are stuck in the 1990’s and haven’t realized that Iowans have come to understand that Medicare is going insolvent and needs to be reformed for future generations,” Lange said Wednesday.

Some experts have projected Medicare will be insolvent in 12 years while others, including former Iowa Congressman and Budget Director Jim Nussle (R-IA), have concluded that creative accounting techniques have masked the fact that Medicare is already insolvent.

Braley has been in office for six years, but has not offered any solutions for saving Medicare from insolvency. Instead, Braley voted to gut $716 billion from Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare.

Among these cuts were $415 billion in provider payments which will result in fewer providers accepting Medicare payments and which will limit the options and choices for Iowa’s seniors. Braley also voted to cut $156 billion from Medicare Advantage which has been projected to result in half of all seniors who use Medicare Advantage losing access to their plans.

Lange believes Medicare will only be saved if the American people fire the Washington politicians and hire real leaders willing to work together to preserve, protect, and strengthen Medicare by giving future seniors more options, more choices, and more control over their health care.

But Braley’s partisanship has obstructed meaningful reform. Braley is one of the most partisan members of Congress, voting with his party 98 percent of the time and even describing himself as “decidely partisan.”

“Medicare is going bankrupt and Bruce Braley doesn’t think Medicare needs to be reformed,” Lange said. “I disagree. Medicare needs to be secured and strengthened for future generations, including for my three little girls. Braley’s cowardice on this issue and his own voting record constitute a direct threat to the future of Medicare and I will not stop telling the truth to Iowans and leading on this important issue.”

A fact sheet on Medicare below. (Click here to download.)

Fact Sheet: Lange Will Save Medicare, Braley Won’t 

1. Medicare is going bankrupt.

  • Some experts project Medicare will be insolvent in 12 years.
  • According to the 2011 Annual Report of Medicare’s Boards of Trustees, Medicare “is now estimated to be exhausted in 2024, 5 years earlier than was shown in last year’s report, and the fund is not adequately financed over the next 10 years.” (See 2011 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, Page 4.)
  • Other experts believe Medicare already is insolvent.
  • According to Former Iowa Congressman and Budget Director Jim Nussle, “Medicare is bleeding cash – a fact disguised by creative accounting. According to Monday’s release of the 2012 Trustees Report, in 2011 Medicare took in $260.8 billion in payroll taxes and beneficiary premiums, but spent $549.1 billion in medical services. That means last year Medicare ran a $288.3 billion cash shortfall.” (See Jim Nussle & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, “Medicare’s Dirty Little Secret: It’s already insolvent,” National Review Online, April 25, 2012.)

2. Congressman Bruce Braley gutted Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

  • Braley cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. (See Letter from Congressional Budget Office to Speaker Boehner, July 24, 2012.)
  • Braley cut $415 billion in Medicare provider payments which will result in fewer providers accepting Medicare payments and which will limit the options and choices for Iowa’s seniors.
  • Braley voted to cut $156 billion from Medicare Advantage which has been projected to result in half of all seniors who use Medicare Advantage losing access to their plans.
  • Braley even supports a health care bill more radical than Obamacare.
  •  In 2006, Braley said he supported universal health care and “[e]ven though we’re working toward a single [sic] player system, it’s not at work now,” Braley said. (See Jon Ericson, “Congressional candidates debate in live radio forum,” Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Apr. 22, 2006.)
  • On Nov. 7, 2009, Braley voted for H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, the Democrats health care overhaul legislation that included a government-run public option. (See H.R. 3962, CQ Vote #887, Nov. 7, 2009.)

3. Braley put unelected bureaucrats between seniors and their doctors.

  • Braley voted to establish a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who are required to cut Medicare on an annual basis and which will lead to denied care for current and future seniors. (See H.R. 3590, CQ Vote #165, March 21, 2010.)

4. Braley does not support Medicare reform.

  • Braley has been in office for six years and has not offered a single bill or solution that addresses the long-term solvency of Medicare. (See Bruce Braley’s Sponsored Bills, GovTrack.Us)
  • Braley has criticized attempts to reform Medicare in a responsible way for future seniors.

5. Ben Lange believes Medicare must be saved for Iowa’s seniors.

  • Lange believes we must “honor the promise” our country made to our seniors and opposes any changes in Medicare for people 55 years or older.
  • Lange believes Iowa’s future seniors deserve more options, more choices, and more control over their health care, not unelected bureaucrats.

Lange believes Medicare needs to be preserved, protected, and strengthened for current and future generations.

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The Iowa Republican





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