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Fact Check: Former Congressman Rick Nolan Still Clinging to Desperate Medicare Attacks at Duluth Debate

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Date:
Location: Duluth, MN

Former congressman Rick Nolan still doesn't get it. His lies about Chip Cravaack have repeatedly been proven false, yet Nolan is still trying to scare seniors. Today at the Duluth News Tribune-Duluth Chamber of Commerce debate, it's obvious that Nolan would rather diminish his own credibility than attempt to explain his support for cutting over $700 billion from seniors' Medicare in order to pay for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi's government takeover of health care.

"It doesn't surprise me that former congressman Nolan is taking another page out of Nancy Pelosi's playbook by trying to scare and mislead seniors. Nolan's plan would bankrupt Medicare, cut seniors benefits, and raise taxes on job creators. Seniors won't be fooled by Nolan's false, negative attacks. I will continue fighting to preserve and protect Medicare for seniors and future generations of Americans," said Cravaack.

CLAIM:

Chip Cravaack voted to end Medicare.

FACT:

This claim is so completely false that it has the dubious honor of being PolitiFact.com's 2011 "Lie of the Year." Politic Fact says, "Democrats and liberals overreached: They ignored the fact that the Ryan plan would not affect people currently in Medicare -- or even the people 55 to 65 who would join the program in the next 10 years. They used harsh terms such as "end' and "kill' when the program would still exist." ("Lie of the Year 2011: "Republicans voted to end Medicare," St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact, 12/20/2011)

Editorial Boards Say It Is A "Total Lie." "That group claims the House Republicans "end Medicare.' Period. That's a total lie." (Editorial, "Ending Medicare: A Big, Scary Lie," The [New Hampshire] Union Leader, 4/23/11)

Rick Nolan supports cutting $500 billion from Medicare to pay for her government takeover of healthcare. "[T]the Obama health law, passed by Democrats last year, already eviscerated Medicare… Rep. Paul Ryan's entitlement-reform vision … would undo much of the damage, while charting a new course to ensure Medicare doesn't run out of money." (Who ended "Medicare as we know it'?, New York Post, 5/24/11)

CLAIM:

Chip Cravaack wants seniors to pay $6,400 more for the same Medicare coverage.

FACT:

Chip Cravaack supports a plan that lifts the burden of debt that threatens jobs while preserving Medicare for current seniors & future retirees. According to President Obama's own Medicare Trustees Medicare will go bankrupt in 2024 and will require an immediate 17-percent reduction in benefits and a 24-percent increase in taxes.

Nolan wants to let Medicare go bankrupt by refusing to act, which will end Medicare's trust fund by 2024, and eventually force massive cuts to seniors' benefits and tax hikes. (Richard Wolf, "Medicare, Social Security Money Running Out Faster," USA Today, 5/13/2011)

Obama-Appointed Medicare Trustees: Medicare Will Go Bankrupt In 2024, Five Years Earlier Than Forecast Last Year:"Medicare's trust fund will run dry in 2024, five years earlier than forecast just last year, and Social Security's will be exhausted by 2036, adding fuel to the debate over cutting one or both programs to reduce annual budget deficits." (Richard Wolf, "Medicare, Social Security Money Running Out Faster," USA Today, 5/13/2011)

One of President Obama's regular attacks on House Medicare reform is that it would force seniors to pay $6,400 a year more for health care. But merely because he keeps repeating this doesn't mean it's in the same area code of accurate ("The $6,400 Myth," The Wall Street Journal, 8/19/2012)

Democrat Plan Means An "Immediate 17-Percent Reduction" In Benefits Or "Immediate 24-Percent Increase" In Taxes: "The long-range financial imbalance could be addressed in several different ways. In theory, the standard 2.90-percent payroll tax and the additional tax 0.9-percent tax on high-income earners could be immediately increased by the amount of the actuarial deficit to 3.69 percent, or expenditures could be reduced by a corresponding amount. Note, however, that these changes would require an immediate 24-percent increase in the tax rate or an immediate 17-percent reduction in expenditures." (pp. 28-29, "2011 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds," The Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, 5/13/2011)

CLAIM:

Chip Cravaack wants to privatize Medicare.

FACT:

The House Republican plan makes no changes to Medicare for people fifty-five years or older and preserves Medicare for younger generations. The plan keeps Medicare from going bankrupt and forcing cuts in benefits for current seniors. The Democrats would raid the Medicare trust fund to pay for ObamaCare, let Medicare go bankrupt, and give government bureaucrats the power to ration healthcare for seniors.

Nolan supports a plan that will empower a panel of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington to cut Medicare spending and to interfere with seniors and their doctors, endangering seniors' access to healthcare. (David Nather, "Medicare cost-cutting job could be worst in D.C.," Politico, 5/14/2011

CLAIM:

Chip Cravaack wants to replace Medicare with vouchers.

FACT:

Republicans have the only plan to preserve and protect Medicare. For those 54 and younger, Medicare would let future retirees choose from competing plans that fit their needs best, offering the same kinds of choices Members of Congress currently enjoy and operate in a manner similar to that of the popular Medicare prescription drug benefit. The plan would only apply to younger workers and would allow future retirees to choose from a list of guaranteed coverage options that will drive costs down and quality up. Medicare payments would go to the plan provider (premium support payment) as opposed to the payment going directly to the individual (voucher). If we do nothing, there will be nothing for future retirees.

WSJ: Obama Medicare Plan Created Under Healthcare Law Is "Rationing," Will "Throw Granny Over The Cliff": "One place to start is by attacking the Democratic plan to cut Medicare via political rationing. … The ObamaCare bill goes to great lengths to shelter this 15-member, unelected board from Congressional review, with the goal of letting these bureaucrats throw granny over the cliff if Medicare isn't reformed." (Editorial, "The GOP's New York Spanking," The Wall Street Journal, 5/26/2011)


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