Campaign battle over Medicare heats up
April 19th, 2011
11:04 AM ET
12 years ago

Campaign battle over Medicare heats up

Washington (CNN) - It shouldn't be any surprise that national Democrats are targeting 25 House Republicans who they say "voted to end Medicare."

It's all about an extremely important voting group: Senior citizens.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Tuesday that it's launching a paid advertising campaign against 25 Republican lawmakers who they consider vulnerable in next year's elections. The DCCC says their new push consists of radio ads, live and automated phone calls, web ads and over 4.5 million "action alert" e-mails.

One of the news-weather-traffic radio ads asks "Did you know Congressman Chip Cravaack voted to end Medicare, forcing seniors to pay $12,500 for private health insurance, without guaranteed coverage? Tell Cravaack to keep his hands off our Medicare."

Besides Cravaack of Minnesota, the DCCC is also targeting congressmen Dan Lungren of California, Scott Tipton of Colorado, Daniel Webster, Bill Young, Vern Buchanan, Tom Rooney, Allen West, and Dan Rivera of Florida, Tom Latham and Steve King of Iowa, Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Larry Buschon of Indiana, Dan Benishek and Fred Upton of Michigan, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Ann Marie Buerkle of New York, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Francisco Canseco of Texas and Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.

The new push is part of the committee's "Drive for 25" campaign, which focuses on capturing 25 GOP House seats in 2012, which would give the Democrats control of the chamber that they lost in last year's midterm elections.

All 25 lawmakers last week voted in favor of the House Republican's 2012 budget proposal, which was put together by Ryan, the chairman of the budget committee.

The DCCC is also trying to fundraise off the campaign, saying that if $25,000 is raised over the next 48 hours, the web video would be the DCCC's first paid ad this cycle.

Hours after the announcement of the DCCC's campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee fired back.

"The Democrats' shameless scare tactics are merely a way to mislead voters and cover up the real Democrat plan to watch Medicare die a painful death, an unacceptable option for America's seniors," NRCC Deputy Communications Director Joanna Burgos tells CNN. "The reality is that the Republican budget blueprint saves Medicare for future generations with no disruption for those in and near retirement, while the Democrats' plan cuts Medicare benefits and raises taxes on job creators and every person who receives a paycheck."

The battle over Medicare should be a hot topic as the 2012 election cycle heats up. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted in January indicated that more than eight in ten said preventing cuts in Medicare was more important than reducing the deficit, with 18 percent saying that deficit reduction outweighed preventing cuts in Medicare.

Voters 65 and older cast more ballots 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: DCCC • Medicare
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. gt

    do nothing and see what happens.... ... fix this mess... who gives a damn who does it ..share the credit..... just fix it..

    April 19, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. solla44

    I stated my post wrong: If the Repubs bill does not effect anyone under the age of 55, how does it help cut the deficit over the next 10 years. They are projecting a $6 trillion cut over the next 10 years, correct?

    Should be: If the Repubs bill does not effect anyone over the age of 55, how does it help cut the deficit over the next 10 years. They are projecting a $6 trillion cut over the next 10 years, correct?

    April 19, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    The GOP wants you to believe that you can buy insurance cheaper in another state.
    Okay, you sure missed that boat, Rudy. The Republicans are saying, correctly, that if insurance companies are not forced to come up with 50 different products based on the different rules in each state, they can take out unnecessary costs that all of us are paying. Imagine for instance, if Apple had to make a different phone to meet the different requirements in each state. Do you think these phones would cost more? You know they would. But they would not be any better than the ones they sell in all 50 states.

    April 19, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. annie s

    No quotation marks needed – they DID vote to end Medicare and use the money to give even more to the rich and their corporate masters.

    April 19, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    We paid into Medicare for years. We STILL pay monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pays on both Medicare Part B and Part D (medical and pharmaceutical). We pay and pay and pay and pay and pay and pay ...........

    April 19, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Those fascists republicans want to give grandma and grandpa a voucher to pay for their healthcare and stick them with the bill when the voucher is all used up. That sounds like the road to a DEATH PANEL to me.

    April 19, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. CaliforniaBC

    The Seniors came out in droves to help the Republican party sweep back into power based lie-based fears fed to them by the GOP that the Democrats would cut Medicare. And how ironic that NOW it's the Republican Party that is ACTUALLY going after it.

    Seniors! Time to step up, acknowledge your mistake and vote the bums back out in 2012. AN STOP LISTENING TO GOP LIES!!!!!

    April 19, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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