On Tuesday, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) was joined by DFL Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05), and DFL candidates Mike Obermueller (CD-02), and Brian Barnes (CD-03) in highlighting efforts by Democrats in Congress to strengthen and protect Medicare. With political attack ads and smear campaigns from Republican candidates across Minnesota distorting the record and misinforming voters, the Members of Congress and candidates outlined the two very different approaches to protecting the guarantee of Medicare.
The conversation focused on a recent minority report by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The report reveals that over 60,000 Minnesota seniors will pay higher drug costs under the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare and reopen the prescription drug donut-hole.
These seniors will pay over $550 million in higher drug costs over the next decade if Republicans repeal these reforms. The report also shows that over 750,000 Minnesota seniors will lose the free preventative care benefits that they now have under Obamacare. This is all in addition to the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning the Medicare guarantee into a voucher program for Minnesota seniors who are under the age of 55 years old.
Congresswoman McCollum issued the following statement:
"Democrats voted to create Medicare in 1965, and we voted to strengthen it with Obamacare in 2012. Seniors now have access to free preventative care, the prescription drug donut hole has been closed, and the solvency of Medicare extended.
"In contrast, every Republican member of the Minnesota delegation voted to end Medicare as we know it by converting the Medicare guarantee into a voucher program. The impact this plan would have on Minnesota seniors is devastating. Shifting the cost of healthcare onto seniors who have been guaranteed these benefits does not reflect my values nor the values of Minnesota. I will continue fighting in Congress to prevent it from happening.
Congressman Ellison issued the following statement:
"Our seniors, who cut a trail for the rest of us, deserve to retire with dignity and peace of mind. Congresswoman McCollum and I will continue partnering to strengthen Medicare and make sure Minnesotans have the facts about how the Ryan Budget puts our seniors' well-being in jeopardy."
2nd Congressional District candidate Mike Obermueller issued the following statement:
"We need to keep the promise we have made to our seniors and future generations. Congressman Kline was wrong to vote to end the guaranteed benefit of Medicare."
3rd Congressional District Brian Barnes issued the following statement:
"The Romney/Ryan plan, despite their rhetoric, would end Medicare as we know it for the current and future seniors in my district. This plan which Congressman Paulsen voted for, creates a lot of stress and uncertainties for families. I oppose it."