It’s Medicare’s Birthday and We’ll Campaign If We Want To
It’s Medicare’s 47th birthday, and Democratic candidates and committees are bringing out the cake…and the knives.
Democratic candidates and committees smacked their Republican counterparts across Pennsylvania Monday for their votes in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget. The controversial plan would make Medicare more like a voucher system.
This is likely to be the Dems’ single biggest issue in House and Senate races nationwide. In PA, a state with a large number of senior citizens, the issue has been a contentious point among House candidates – including PA-12, where Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) and Republican Keith Rothfus have both campaigned on the issue.
“If Keith Rothfus gets his way, Medicare’s 47th anniversary would be its last because his plan would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, costing seniors more than $6,000 per year in additional out of pocket health care costs,” Critz’s Spokesman Mike Mikus said in a press release.
Since the primary, Rothfus has attacked Critz for supporting President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, a law his campaign says removes funding for Medicare to fund the universal healthcare plan (though the Ryan plan maintains those cuts).
Further, Ryan and supporters of his plan note that Medicare as it’s structured now is headed straight for bankruptcy in the coming decades. By and large, Democrats have not avoided putting pen to paper on a comprehensive plan to pay for the program in the long term. It’s unlikely that a person turning 47 today could count on the program at current funding levels.
Taking a more creative path, Credo SuperPAC, an organization opposing Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), announced plans to deliver a cake to his district office in Langhorne this afternoon along with a card that read, “Cut Cake, Not Medicare. Love, Seniors Against Fitzpatrick”.
Democrat George Badey joined the theme by accusing his opponent, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) of breaking a 2010 campaign promise of not voting to end Medicare by supporting Ryan’s budget.
Earlier this morning, he hosted a press conference with historian Alice Hoffman, whose father, Nelson Cruikshank, helped craft the original Medicare system, at the Courthouse in Media.