Counter-attack in the campaign fight over Medicare
House Democrats called on the Republicans not to end Medicare during a news conference, April 15, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
April 21st, 2011
12:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Counter-attack in the campaign fight over Medicare

Washington (CNN) – The political battle over Medicare is getting hotter.

60 Plus, a conservative group, says it's going up with radio ads across the country to thank House Republicans for passing a budget that they say saves Medicare. This follows moves earlier this week by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, a Democratic-leaning political action committee, to go up with radio ads targeting Republicans who voted for their party's budget, accusing them of "ending Medicare."

60 Plus says it's going to spend $800,000 for a two week buy for ads in 39 congressional districts controlled by House Republicans. The group, which bills itself as "the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP," says the 60-second radio spots will be accompanied by phone calls and mailers.

"Something unusual happened last week…in Washington, DC of all places. Elected officials actually did what they said they would. The House passed a budget that protects and preserves Medicare for years to come," says the announcer, in one of the commercials.

House Republicans say that their budget, put together by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Budget Committee chairman, will save Medicare and keep it secure for future retirees. Democrats say the opposite is true, that the GOP plan will end the entitlement program in its current form and force seniors to pay much more for their health care coverage.

All this comes amid increased talk about reducing spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, to help reduce the nation's massive budget deficit.

The battle over Medicare should be a hot topic as the 2012 election cycle heats up. Polls from ABC News/Washington Post and from Marist released this week indicate that the vast majority of Americans oppose reducing spending on Medicare to help reduce the budget deficit. Those findings were in line with a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted earlier this year.

People 65 and older voted for Sen. John McCain over Sen. Barack Obama by a 53 to 45 percent margin in the 2008 presidential election, according to national exit polls. They were the only age group that McCain won.

In last year's midterm elections, seniors voted for the Republicans over the Democrats by a 59 to 38 percent margin. National Republicans effectively used Medicare as an issue with seniors during the campaign, warning that the new health care law passed earlier in 2010 by congressional Democrats and signed by President Obama could weaken Medicare.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Medicare
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    "Here's a voucher, now go buy health insurance". What ? You're 65 & in bad health ? Nobody wants to insure you ? I can't believe that !

    April 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    What do these people care? THEIR benefits are safe from change. It's the next generation that will have to deal with the GOP plan that forces seniors to hunt down and find companies that will cover them

    April 21, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Talk about putting a strain on our kids. Those of us over 65 don't want our 45 or 50 year old children to have to lay out between $15,000 and $1,000,000 for medical care when they get sick. That's what it will amount to after one by-pass or one de-fibrilator is installed. Then, the insurance they've spent all their inheritance to buy will be cancelled.

    DO YOU WANT TO DO THAT TO YOUR CHILDREN? I SAY NO. RAISE TAXES ON EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY WEALTHY AND CORPORATIONS) AND TELL RYAN TO KISS OUR a$$.

    April 21, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Attention! (dramatic pause while I leer and sneer at you)
    We should support Chairman Ryan's Medicare plan because "60 Plus" said we should. Got that?

    April 21, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    probably a bunch of rich retired people that could care less about the others who can't afford healthcare. I bet they are the Tea Party folks...you know the ones with no jobs, lots of retirement money that can ride around the country and ragg on the Democrats and Obama. COMPLAINT DENIED!!

    April 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. ConservaFascists -aka- Mammon

    Paul Ryan got an earfull from his constituents in Wisconsin. They HATE his plan along with 70% of the nation.

    April 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. gt

    aarp is nothing but a front for a insurance company.... thats all they care about is profit for the hartford insuance compan .. they dont give a damn about the elderly ..just dollars...

    April 21, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Great news! Don't let the leftist liars deceive the American people. The facts are that Medicare as it exists today is ending ITSELF. In 9 years it'll be bankrupt, probably along with the country. The Democrats just want to let the American people ride the bankruptcy train over the cliff. They have NO PLAN to save mediccare, NO PLAN to save social security, NO PLAN to save this country from bankruptcy.

    The Democrats Plan: Nothing is wrong, all is good, please just look up at the pink and purple sky and everything will be alright. We'll just tax the nasty rich people to pay for some more happy juice.

    April 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. vm

    I am sure the plan did save Medicare but only for those over 55!!! What about everyone else? You will be on your own!! 60 Plus must think people are stupid. Do they not realize THEY are safe but everyone under 55 isn't!! Get real.

    April 21, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. LovesIrony

    Stop funding the millionaires in our government's health insurance. Why no talk of them buying their own insurance instead of letting taxpayers pay for life time coverage after six years of work... Nice gig you got going there senators. Throw Mama from the Train

    April 21, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Desert Denizen

    Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity"? More like "Detour to Disaster"!

    April 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    As usual, Steinhauser (republican shill) will NOT allow comments that are sensible on the democratic side.

    April 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Now we will really hear from those teabagging elders. Just remember ryan wants to do away with your "entitlements" (not that we have all paid into the pot). I think those in congress should lose their health and life insurance once they are done screwing (for some literally) the counryh!
    Let's see how it feels to get old and not have enough money to pay for healthcare while living in a cardboard box somewhere it's warm. That IS the death panel mentioned by what's her face. She just couldn't say that it's the party of hell no who could care less.

    April 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    What do you want to saddle your kids and grand-kids with?

    GI Joe
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    aarp sells medi-gap insurance for around $150 a month. It pays deductibles, co-pays, etc. It's cheaper than paying $15,000 to $30,000 for two days in the hospital. The voucher crap won't even cover ONE day in the hospital. Wake up before the fascists take away everything you and your parents and grand-parents worked and fought for.

    We have a bunch of Adolph Hitlers' in the republican party that are lying over and over and over – LOUDLY.

    April 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. tulsa, ok

    I'm 60 plus and they do not speak for me.

    April 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. California Conservative

    ObamaCare already took $500 BILLION from Medicare s othe demcorats should be screaming at themselves.

    April 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    In a very few years that voucher won't even buy a 5-pack of Bazooka Bubble Gum. WAKE UP

    April 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. terry,va

    The dumbocraps don't want to do ANYTHING to keep our social programs for future generations. Anyone with a pea brain knows that we are broke. The repubs had to drag Obummie kicking and screaming to cut the 2011 budget. He is now lying about Medicare and Social Security being in good shape. Meanwhile he begged Standard and Poor not to downgrade our financial strength to a negative standing from neutral. He is the biggest liar and cover up artist we have ever had in the white house. Sorry Obummie, we are on to you trying to destroy this country. You are a fool and the repubs will not let you spend any more money than we have. Your socialist days and programs like Obummie care are OVER !!!!

    April 21, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Name king

    Hey repugs I don't really care how much money you spend to play word games, the fact still remains 8 grand is not even sufficient for healthy young man like me, much less grand ma and grand pa, you see repugs as you get older your body seems to need more maintenance than when you were younger, I know that cramps knows that, and those money grubbing insurance companies know that, I wonder when some one is going to tell you backward repugs the facts, oh I forget repugs don't deal in facts, and rationality, they wallows in lies and emotions

    April 21, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A "voucher" plus $6,500 to $12,000 a year coming out of seniors pockets isn't too much money, they can afford it. If they can't, Oh Well.

    April 21, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Has anyone else noticed that the conservative push to "privatize" everything in site has extended to campaign financing?

    April 21, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. juliei4

    Here's the thing – I'm 65 so I am not in the cut bunch, but for all of you out there who have parents under the age of 55 right now, who do you think is going to be helping them when they can't afford medical insurance when they are on a voucher system? Or if your parents or grandparents for the younger ones, have chronnic and terrible health issues, who do you think is going to have to help them out or take them into your home? You think these decisions made today don't affect you? Guess again!

    April 21, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    As a 51-year-old, I DO NOT appreciate how the Republicans are planning on dumping me from Medicare when I've PAID INTO IT MY WHOLE WORKING LIFE.

    You want to balance the budget?

    1. Raise the FICA income limit to $250,000.
    2. Close the tax loopholes that allow GE to not pay any federal tax on $4.6 BILLION in profit.
    3. Collect taxes on the money rich folks have hidden in offshore accounts.
    4. Eliminate the $61 BILLION tax subsidy for the oil industry (they don't need it).
    5. Raise the top personal income tax bracket from the current 36% to what it was under Reagan: 39%.

    Grow some cajones, GOP – and quit trying to clean up the financial mess your party's FAILED ECONOMIC POLICIES caused on the backs of the poor and Middle Class!

    April 21, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    "the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP" Sure. AARP has over 40 million members, making it one of the largest membership organizations in the United States. "60 Plus" has what? In the tens of members? (And a credit line from the Koch brothers.)

    April 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. reACTIONary

    "the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP" Sure. AARP has over 40 million members, making it one of the largest membership organizations in the United States. "60 Plus" has what? In the tens of members? (And a credit line from the Koch brothers.)

    April 21, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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