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Public Statements

Issue Position: Medicare

Issue Position

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Date:
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Medicare is cheaper and better than private health insurance. I oppose efforts to privatize Medicare by voucher, premium support, or other Republican gimmicks. This is a big gift to private health insurance companies at the expense of seniors.
I support keeping the prescription drug donut hole closed and will oppose any efforts to reopen it.
I support comparative effectiveness research and other scientific approaches to allow physicians the information they need to reduce the cost of care while raising the quality.
I support efforts by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and others to fight waste and fraud in the system and support increased sentencing penalties for health care fraud.
I support allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. This removes a huge cost Republicans added to the Medicare program in order to appease lobbyists.

Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" Plan for the House GOP focuses on privatizing, downsizing, and radically altering Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I could not disagree more.

Paul Ryan's budget, which he called the "Path to Prosperity," would privatize Medicare. Seniors would pay, on average, hundreds more a month for the same care.

The problem with these GOP efforts is that Medicare is more efficient than private insurance. Attempts to privatize this program are to increase the profits of private health insurance companies- not to help seniors!

Medicare covers 47 million seniors and people with permanent disabilities, groups that historically have had great difficulty obtaining coverage. Medicaid currently covers nearly 60 million individuals, including 1 in 3 American children. These programs are critical.

Medicare is worth it, and we can afford it. However, we can make Medicare cheaper by focusing on a few main areas. First, we should allow Medicare to negotiate for lower-cost prescription drugs. Second, I support expanded penalties for health care fraud and abuse and increased focus at the Department of Justice on these issues. Finally, by eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and cutting waste in the defense budget, our nation can afford Medicare and many other investments we need to make for students, seniors, and middle class families.


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