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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2012
Contact: TNDP News, 615-327-9779
Rep. Andy Holt Embraces Plan to End Medicare
Holt’s Health Care Compact Bill Would End Medicare’s Guaranteed Benefit for Tenn. Seniors
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren’t the only politicians with a plan to end Medicare as we know it. Earlier this year, Rep. Andy Holt co-sponsored a measure that would eliminate Medicare’s guaranteed benefit for 800,000 Tennessee seniors and force them into TennCare.
“Andy Holt will try to distort his anti-senior record, but it’s time he explained why he would want to eliminate Medicare’s guaranteed benefit for Tennessee seniors and force them into TennCare,” said Brandon Puttbrese of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “In times like these, extreme entitlement reforms that increase health costs and cut benefits for Tennessee seniors should be off the table.”
Holt’s Health Care Compact bill (HB0369/SB0326) would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit for Tennessee’s Medicare recipients and shift management of the federal health care plan to the state’s TennCare program. Now with less than three months until Election Day, Holt must defend his support for the compact bill that would radically change health care coverage for elderly Tennesseans. That’s a tough pitch to make in Tennessee where 800,000 seniors depend on Medicare.
“Holt’s compact bill to end Medicare for Tennessee seniors is now his running mate,” Puttbrese said. “It’s a bad idea and it doesn’t matter if it comes from Holt, Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, Tennessee seniors are going to reject a top-down, anti-senior health plan that leaves them with bigger bills, doctor coupons and empty promises.”
Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has endorsed his running mate’s budget that cuts benefits and privatizes Medicare through vouchers. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found the Ryan plan would raise health care costs for seniors by $6,400 each year.
TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN COMPACT BILL WOULD END MEDICARE’S GUARANTEED BENEFIT & FORCE MEDICARE RECIPIENTS INTO TENNCARE
The Republican Health Care Compact Bill Would End Medicare’s Guaranteed Benefit for More than 800,000 Tennessee Seniors. Under the Republican Health Care Compact Bill (HB0369/SB0326), beginning in FY13-14, TennCare would take over the federal Medicare program and force recipients into TennCare. This bill would increase the state budget by $11,505,596,700. Under the federal Medicare program coverage for seniors is guaranteed, but that would NOT be true under the compact. [Capitol.tn.gov, accessed 8/15/12]
PAUL RYAN’S BUDGET ENDS MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT AND SHIFTS COSTS ON TO SENIORS
The Ryan Plan Would End Medicare As We Know It And Raise Seniors Health Costs By Thousands Of Dollars Per Year. “The budget resolution developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would make significant changes to Medicare. It would replace Medicare’s current guarantee of coverage with a premium-support voucher, raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, and reopen the ‘doughnut hole’ in Medicare’s coverage of prescription drugs. Together, these changes would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and (with the simultaneous repeal of health reform) leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “Medicare in the Ryan Budget,” 3/28/12]
The Ryan Plan Raises The Eligibility Age For Medicare From 65 To 67, And Puts In Place Caps On Spending That Could Shift Costs To Seniors As Health Care Costs Rise. “Under Ryan’s blueprint, the Medicare eligibility age would rise over time beginning in 2023 from 65 to 67. In the future, seniors would be given government assistance to purchase private health-insurance plans or could continue to take part in the current fee-for-service model. Spending would be capped, meaning risks and costs could shift to seniors as health-care costs rise.” [Washington Post, 3/29/12]
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