INDEPENDENCE, IA — U.S. congressional candidate Ben Lange today released a “Special Report on Medicare” which provides Iowans the facts about recent competing claims about Medicare, backed by primary source material and citations.
Lange’s report highlights the fact that Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) has no plan to save Medicare and his ‘do-nothing’ approach is threatening the future of Medicare for Iowa’s seniors.
“Congressman Braley has not only cut $716 billion from Medicare, he hasn’t offered a single solution for ensuring the long-term fiscal solvency of this critical program for seniors,” said Cody Brown, an advisor to Lange’s campaign.
“Iowa’s seniors deserve to know how Braley intends to save this program, and the time has come for Braley to answer the basic question — Mr. Braley what is YOUR plan to save Medicare?”
Lange is the only candidate in Iowa’s 1st congressional district who has released a specific plan for saving Medicare and putting our country back on the right track. Lange’s plan honors the promise made to Iowa’s seniors and ensures that traditional Medicare is guaranteed for both current and future seniors.
An executive summary of Lange’s report is set forth below.
(Download the full report.)
Special Report on Medicare
1. Is Medicare really going bankrupt?
Yes. After Obamacare was enacted, Medicare’s Board of Trustees’ last two annual reports have concluded that Medicare is not adequately financed over the next 10 years and will be totally insolvent in just 12 years.
2. What is Braley’s plan to save Medicare?
Congressman Braley does not have a plan to save Medicare. After 2,090 days in office, Braley has yet to articulate a plan for saving Medicare from its impending bankruptcy. Braley’s public statements have related only to criticism of attempts to save this important program and his support of Obamacare. But Obamacare did nothing to ensure the long-term fiscal solvency of Medicare. In fact, the year after Obamacare passed the Medicare Trustees projected that Medicare will go bankrupt in 12 years. So the question remains – what is Braley’s plan to prevent Medicare’s bankruptcy?
3. What is Ben’s plan to save Medicare?
Ben believes we must honor the Medicare promise made to Iowa’s seniors while working with members of both parties to enact responsible and balanced reforms to save Medicare from bankruptcy for our kids and grandkids. Ben opposes any changes in Medicare for people over 55 years old and supports keeping traditional Medicare as a guaranteed option for seniors, while giving future seniors the choice of alternative plans that might better serve their particular needs – the same type of options that members of Congress currently enjoy.
4. Did Braley vote to “cut” Medicare?
Yes. It is beyond dispute that Braley voted for Obamacare and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that Obamacare reduced Medicare spending by $716 billion between 2013-2022. The only issue is whether this reduction in Medicare spending constitutes a “cut.” Based on the universal dictionary definition of spending “cuts” as the “act of reducing spending,” and because Obamacare did in fact reduce spending for Medicare, it is accurate to conclude that Braley voted to “cut” Medicare.
5. How can Braley say he didn’t cut Medicare?
Braley cites to a report published by KCRG, which conceded that Obamacare reduced Medicare spending by $716 billion and did not define the meaning of term “cut.” As a result, KCRG had no basis for reaching a conclusion, which is likely why KCRG chose not to reach an independent conclusion on this particular issue. Instead, KCRG simply regurgitated what one organization posted on one website, and failed to mention or analyze other mainstream statements and reports on this very topic, including President Obama’s deputy campaign manager’s own defense of Obamacare and one of the most widely read articles published by the Washington Post.
6. What Medicare programs did Braley cut?
Among the $716 billion cuts in Medicare, Congressman Braley voted to cut $415 billion in Medicare provider payments which Medicare’s Chief Actuary warned could jeopardize “access to care” for Medicare beneficiaries. Braley also voted to cut $156 billion from Medicare Advantage which is projected to result in half of all enrollees losing access to their plans. Worse, 60% of doctors say Obamacare will force them “to close or significantly restrict their practices to certain categories of patients” and, of these, “87% said they would close or significantly restrict their practices to Medicare patients.”
7. Will bureaucrats really cut Medicare?
Yes. Obamacare established the Independent Payment Advisory Board which, pursuant to section 3403 of Obamacare, authorizes 15 unelected Washington bureaucrats to propose changes in Medicare on an annual basis, including cuts to Medicare Advantage and prescription drugs, that will automatically be implemented by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, absent congressional action. Because congressional action is highly unlikely given the partisan divide in Washington on this particular issue, this board will have de facto control over the future of Medicare.
8. Will Ben end “the Medicare guarantee”?
Absolutely not. Ben’s plan to save Medicare honors the promise made to Iowa’s seniors and ensures that traditional Medicare is guaranteed for both current and future seniors. Unfortunately, even after Braley’s campaign read Ben’s plan which made this clear, Braley chose to approve a defamatory television ad that states Ben will take away this guarantee. The fact is Braley has no plan of his own and, as a result, if Iowans choose Braley’s ‘do-nothing’ approach, Medicare will go bankrupt in 12 years.
9. Does Ben support Medicare “vouchers”?
No. Ben opposes a “vouchers” whereby the government gives seniors essentially a piece of paper which authorizes them to purchase a plan on their own.