Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Facts About the Ryan/Brian Plan to End Medicare As We Know It

San Diego – In anticipation of a news conference being held by Brian Bilbray today, the Scott Peters for Congress campaign issued the following Fact Check about the Ryan/Brian budget plan, which ends Medicare as we know it and is opposed by the American Association of Retired Persons. Reporters are encouraged to be armed with these facts:

PolitiFact Called the Claim that Democrats Cut Medicare by $700 Billion a “Pants on Fire” Lie. In a series of news releases dealing with the national health care reform law, the National Republican Congressional Committee claimed 37 House Democrats were “willing to jeopardize seniors’ access to coverage by gutting $741 billion from Medicare” to pay for a “big-government healthcare takeover.” PolitiFact wrote “There’s only one ruling for such heated and misleading claims: Pants on Fire!” [PolitiFact, 8/19/12]
PolitiFact: The Affordable Care Act Does Not Cut Current Medicare Benefits.
 As PolitFact noted, “The bill doesn't take money out of the current Medicare budget but, rather, it attempts to slow the program's future growth, curtailing just over $500 billion in anticipated spending increases over the next 10 years.” [, 9/12/11]
2011: AARP: Ryan’s Plan (That Brian Bilbray voted for twice) Would Increase Health Care Costs for Older Americans.
AARP CEO Addison Barry Rand wrote to Members of Congress on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget resolution. In the letter, Rand wrote: “this proposal simply shifts these high and growing costs onto Medicare beneficiaries, and it then shifts even higher costs of increased uninsured care onto everyone else. […] By creating a ‘premium support’ system for future Medicare beneficiaries, the proposal is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage -- a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.” [AARP Letter, 3/21/12]

Bloomberg: The Affordable Care Act Does Not Cut Medicare Benefits
. “The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Obama pushed for doesn’t cut Medicare; it simply reduces projected future increases in costs by $700 billion over 10 years.” [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]

2011: Ryan Budget Would Affect Those 55 and Over by Increasing Their Prescription Drug Costs.
In 2011, it was reported that the Ryan Plan would affect seniors 55 and older by increasing their costs for prescription drugs. “The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care.” [National Journal, 6/6/11]

2011: Paul Ryan’s Budget Retained Medicare Savings Voted on by Republican-Controlled Congress. The Republican claim that health care reform “cut” $716 from Medicare was criticized by a New York Times editorial as a mischaracterization because Paul Ryan’s budget approved by the Republican-controlled Congress retained virtually the same Medicare savings. “In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.” [Editorial, New York Times, 8/18/12]

2011: Bilbray Voted for the House Republican Budget Which Would Cost Seniors More Than $6,000. In 2011, Bilbray voted for the Republican plan to “significantly increase the out-of-pocket costs of health care for Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, out‐of‐pocket health care costs will more than double under the Republican plan. Based on estimates from the non‐partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the typical 65-year-old’s out-of-pocket health care costs will increase from $6,154 to $12,513 in 2022—or an extra $6,359.” [Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11; H. Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

2012: Brian Bilbray Voted for House Republican Budget That Would Give People Making Over $1 Million Per Year a $394,000 Tax Cut.“New analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) finds that people earning more than $1 million a year would receive $265,000 apiece in new tax cuts, on average, on top of the $129,000 they would receive from the Ryan budget’s extension of President Bush’s tax cuts.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12; see also Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12]

2011: Congressman Bilbray Voted to End Medicare, Give Tax Breaks to Millionaires, Protect Tax Breaks for Big Oil.
On April 15, 2011, Congressman Bilbray voted for a budget which “would essentially end Medicare.” If enacted, this budget would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing the costs on prescription drugs and long-term care. For future beneficiaries, the Congressional Budget Office estimates it will increase health care costs by an extra $6,359 by 2022. The Republican plan would also lower the top tax rate to 25% and will provide people with incomes over $1 million an average tax cut of $125,000 per year. The plan would secure no deficit-reduction contribution at all from closing special interest tax breaks, such as breaks for big oil companies. [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11; National Journal, 6/2/11; CBO, 4/5/11; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11]

2012: Congressman Bilbray Voted to Slash Medicare, Give Tax Breaks for Millionaires, Encourage Companies to Ship Jobs Overseas. On March 29, 2012, Congressman Bilbray supported a budget that would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, protects $40 billion in tax breaks for big oil, provides people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $394,000, and provides incentives for corporations to shift profits and jobs overseas. [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; New York Times Editorial, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/12/12; Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132; Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/22/12]

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