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Democrats buy radio ads targeting West, Rooney for Medicare vote

by George Bennett | April 19th, 2011

U.S. Reps. Allen West, R-Plantation, and Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, are being targeted in Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee radio ads for voting for a budget plan last week that would change Medicare from the defined-benefit program it is today to a program in which the government provides “premium support” for people to purchase private insurance plans.

The Medicare proposal, part of a budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would apply to those who are now younger than 55. The Ryan budget passed last week on a 235-193 vote with every Democrat in the House opposed.

“Did you know Congressman Allen West voted to end Medicare, forcing seniors to pay $12,500 for private health insurance, without guaranteed coverage? Tell West to keep his hands off our Medicare,” say the brief ads.

The DCCC has bought radio ads targeting 25 Republican House members nationwide who voted for the Ryan budget. The committee isn’t revealing how much it’s spending.

The $12,500 figure in the ad comes from a Congressional Budget Office estimate that, in 2022, a 65-year-old with $20,500 in health care costs would get an $8,000 subsidy under Ryan’s Medicare proposal and be responsible for the remaining $12,500 costs.

If Medicare continues as it’s currently set up, CBO estimates, a typical 65-year-old in 2022 would incur only $13,530 in health care costs, with Medicare paying $7,900 and the individual paying $5,630 out of pocket.

CBO says the out-of-pocket costs would be significantly higher under the Ryan plan because “administrative costs (including profits) and payment rates to providers are higher for private plans than for Medicare.”

Medicare faces actuarial trouble in the next two decades, according to an “improved” forecast by Social Security and Medicare trustees. The latest trustees report projects Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will reach “exhaustion” by 2030 — about the time current 46-year-olds reach retirement age. At that point, revenues are projected to be enough to cover 85 percent of expected costs, declining to 76 percent by 2045.

The National Republican Congressional Committee calls the Democratic ads “shameless scare tactics” and says the Ryan plan prevents Medicare from dying a “painful death” if nothing is done.

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5 Responses to “Democrats buy radio ads targeting West, Rooney for Medicare vote”

  1. Fromthenorth Says:

    We will FIGHT THE FASCISTS to the end.

  2. Same Old, Same Old Says:

    DEAR CONGRESSMAN,

    LAST YEAR I MISMANAGED MY FUNDS AND THIS YEAR I CANNOT DECIDE ON A BUDGET.

    UNTIL I HAVE COME TO A UNIFIED DECISION THAT FITS ALL OF MY NEEDS AND INTERESTS.
    I WILL HAVE TO SHUT DOWN MY CHECKBOOK AND WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO PAY MY TAXES,

    I’M SURE YOU’LL UNDERSTAND.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SETTING AN EXAMPLE WE CAN ALL FOLLOW.

  3. Concerned indie Says:

    The annual report, issued yesterday by the trustees who monitor the fiscal health of the Medicare and Social Security programs, said the trust fund for the health insurance system for the elderly will run out of money in 2018 — two years sooner than predicted a year ago and 12 years sooner than had been anticipated when President Bush first took office.

    It is NOT something the Republicans want to do, it is something they HAVE to do to save Medicare and Social Security. All the nay-sayers need to step back, educated themselves then make an informed comment.

  4. Fed Up Says:

    What many of these Republicans fail to realize that many people are not able to save for their retirement as they did before, this is because many are unemployed and can’t feed their families. Lets rid our country of corporate welfare and see if their is any surplus. Always the little person gets hurt.

  5. T 4 2, 2 4 T Says:

    The richest people in this nation are the only ones deserving of any benefits. The poor working stiffs who barely pay for the economy of this nation consume more than they contribute. Why should the rich pay for their bleak lifestyles?
    We earn, we contribute, we rule. Its that simple. A Darwinian survival of the fittest with a religious apocalyptic overtone.
    The Conservative Party has come so far, we even have those who do not benefit from our policies supporting them because of bloated patriotic racial vitriol and misinformation.

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