Medicare campaign takes shape
April 25th, 2011
02:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Medicare campaign takes shape

Washington (CNN) - The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has officially launched its campaign targeting 25 House Republican lawmakers over their support of the 2012 GOP budget proposal.

Adding to paid radio advertisements that went up last week is an initiative to flood Republican home districts with telephone calls to get the DCCC word out, as well as a web video posted Monday. All make the point that the Republican members promised to protect Medicare on the 2010 campaign trail only to support a 2012 budget which would cut Medicare spending in the future.

The DCCC does not disclose money spent on ad campaigns or initiatives.

The effort is part of the committee's "Drive for 25" effort to regain Democratic control of the House, by seizing 25 GOP House seats in 2012.

The 25 targeted lawmakers were among the majority of GOPers who voted in favor of the House Republican's 2012 budget proposal, headed by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the budget committee.

In one automated DCCC call to voters in Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar's district, the congressman is faulted for making "all the wrong choices" and for voting "to end Medicare rather than end taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil companies making record profits or tax breaks for the ultra rich."

"America is built on shared sacrifice. Paul Gosar is choosing to place the burden on seniors. That's not right," the call says.

A new web video featuring video clips of Republican members "breaking their promise to protect Medicare" was also unveiled Monday, along with a report about what Democrats consider broken campaign promises by House Republicans.

The video titled, "Broken Promises: House Republicans vote to end Medicare," plays a montage of clips from various freshman House Republicans vowing not to vote for Medicare privatization or benefit cuts during their 2010 campaigns. It then points to the same members' support for the GOP budget plan that would change Medicare.

Among those singled out in the video are congressmen Scott Tipton of Colorado, Dan Benishek and Renee Ellmers of Michigan, Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania, Steve Southerland of Florida, and Joe Heck of Nevada.

The 25 GOPers called out in the campaign are congressmen Rick Crawford and Tim Griffin of Arkansas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Scott Tipton of Colorado, Daniel Webster, Bill Young, Vern Buchanan, Tom Rooney, Allen West, and David 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, Chip Cravaack of Minnesota, Charlier Bass of New Hampshire, Ann Marie Buerkle of New York, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Francisco Canseco of Texas, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Francisco Canseco of Texas, Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.

The DCCC continues to make Medicare a central component of the 2012 campaign. According to the committee, the GOP budget plan "ends Medicare and takes away benefits from seniors."

Under Ryan's plan, Medicare would stay unchanged for people 55 and older. Starting in 2022, new recipients would purchase plans from private insurance companies with government aid.

The DCCC campaign continues in spite of arguments made by fact-check team Politifact, who says that some version of Medicare will still exist under the new budget resolution and that such budget deals are rarely carried through.

“The Democrats tried to cover it up when they robbed $500 billion from Medicare to pay for their government takeover of healthcare and now they’re using scare tactics to again cover up the real Democrat plan to put a bureaucrat in between seniors and their doctor," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman, Joanna Burgos. "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."

Medicare, which is sure to be a vocal point of the 2012 election cycle was the subject of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted in January, which indicated that more than 18 percent of responders said preventing cuts in Medicare was more important than reducing the deficit.

Filed under: DCCC • Medicare
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