Today, Congressman Joe Heck released a TV ad stating Nevada's seniors can count on him to "protect Medicare," but Heck has voted twice to put seniors' health care into the hands of insurance company bureaucrats and end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system.
"Congressman Joe Heck wants Nevadans to trust him with Medicare, but he's voted twice to end Medicare by turning it into a voucher system that puts seniors' health care into the hands of insurance company bureaucrats," said Oceguera. "We must come together and work to strengthen and preserve Medicare, and my core goal is protecting Medicare and its benefits for Nevada seniors who have earned them after a lifetime of work, not end it as we know it."
Nevada Assembly Speaker John Oceguera has consistently said we need to come together to find solutions that preserve and strengthen Medicare for seniors who have paid into it after a lifetime of work. Oceguera has suggested building on successes of rooting out waste, fraud and abuse and giving Medicare the ability to negotiate for lower prescription drug costs just as the VA and private insurance companies do. Frustrated by the bickering and finger pointing in Washington, Oceguera has said finding solutions means coming to table with priorities, but not preconditions, and everything should be up for debate.
Making matters worse, Congressman Heck continues spreading the lie and highlighting his own hypocrisy by saying the $716 billion in Medicare savings -- that he himself voted to preserve in the Ryan Budget would cut Medicare benefits for our seniors. Multiple, independent fact checkers have found the claim to be untrue -- and it only further shows the length Heck will go to try and deflect from his two votes for Paul Ryan's budget, which would end Medicare as we know it and increase seniors' health care costs by $6,400. Speaker Oceguera has said time and again, he believes solving long-term solvency problems means having an open mind and working across the aisle to find solutions without precondition -- but his priority will always be protecting and strengthening traditional Medicare and its guaranteed benefits for seniors who have earned it after a lifetime of work.
"Joe Heck needs to check his record, because he voted to preserve the very same Medicare savings he now condemns, and he wants to put them towards tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires instead of bringing down health care costs," Oceguera said. "We need to get serious about solutions to strengthen Medicare for Nevada's seniors and generations to come, but Joe Heck's idea for protecting Medicare is ending it."
Don't be fooled by Joe Heck or take our word for it. Take a look at the truth for yourself:
· Congressional Research Service: "Individuals who become eligible (based either on age or disability) for Medicare in 2022 and later years would not be able to enroll in the current Medicare program." [CRS Report, 4/13/11]
· The Economist: The House Republican budget "ends the guarantee that all American seniors will have health insurance." [The Economist, 4/5/11]
· Wall Street Journal: The Republican budget "would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills." [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]
· McClatchy: The House Republican budget "effectively would end Medicare for seniors." [McClatchy-Tribune News Service, 4/5/11]
· Bloomberg News: "Ryan's budget bill also would end traditional Medicare by capping spending and offer vouchers to buy private insurance." [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
· NPR: The House Republican budget "ends Medicare as we know it and other entitlements." [NPR's Andrea Seabrook, 4/16/11]
· Reuters: "Ryan is expected to include in next week's budget outline a proposal similar to the plan he included last year that would have ended Medicare for people under 55." [Reuters, 3/16/12]
· NPR: According to NPR, "Ending Medicare as we know it is a key part" of the GOP budget plan. [NPR, 4/04/11]
· Former Bush CMS Director: Tom Scully -- former Bush administration director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said: "It gets rid of -- and I would do that -- gets rid of the current Medicare program where the government is the insurance company and the government sets the prices." [TPM, 6/14/11]