Republican Rep. Dold Fails To Protect Medicare. Again.
Dold repeats pattern of cutting, dismantling, trusted health care program for seniors in the same week that we celebrate Medicare’s 50th Anniversary.
Deerfield, IL – This week, as most Americans are commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the passage of Medicare, Republicans in Congress are jeopardizing it. On Tuesday, Republican Congressman Dold failed to stand up for this critical protection of seniors’ health care. Dold voted with 240 other Republicans against protections for Social Security and Medicare. What’s worse, Dold’s vote is just the latest vote in his record of cutting Medicare.
In 2011 and 2012, Dold voted for the Ryan Budget, which “ends traditional Medicare”1 by switching to a voucher system that would force “most elderly people would pay more for their health care.”2
“While Republicans in Congress can count on Bob Dold, seniors can’t. It is irresponsible to cut Medicare benefits and make it harder for seniors to buy the drugs they need,” said Democrat Brad Schneider. “Unfortunately for seniors, Bob Dold continues to vote with Republicans to turn Medicare into a voucher program and reduce benefits. For seniors who rely on Medicare, that's scary and wrong.”
Democrats tried to protect Medicare and Social Security through an MTR
In July 2015, Rep. Nolan moved to recommit H.R. 427 to the Committee on the Judiciary so that it could be amended to “ensure that rules to protect Social Security and Medicare would not be undermined by the underlying legislation such as: rules that would prevent an increase in Social Security the retirement age, rules that would restrict Medicare benefit changes, or rules that would prohibit the transformation of Medicare into a voucher system.”3
Republicans voted against the motion
On 7/28/2015, 241 Republicans, including Dold, voted against the MTR, allowing the bill to move forward without language protecting Medicare or Social Security.4
Dold voted with Republicans twice for the Ryan Budget. [H Con Res 112, 3/29/12; H Con Res 34, 4/15/11]
Bloomberg: Ryan Budget “ends traditional Medicare.”
“[Paul] Ryan’s budget bill also would end traditional Medicare by capping spending and offer vouchers to buy private insurance.” [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
AARP: Ryan Budget would “undermine Medicare’s promise.”
“The Chairman’s proposal, rather than tackling skyrocketing health care costs, would simply shift these costs onto the backs of people in Medicare. It would undermine Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage—a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.” [AARP, 4/5/11]
Medicare vouchers will force seniors to pay more for their health care.
According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.” By 2030, seniors would be paying 68% of their healthcare costs. [CBO, 4/5/11;Washington Post, 4/29/11]
Medicare vouchers will fall drastically behind the growth rate of healthcare costs.
Growing at a rate of GDP + .5%, the Ryan vouchers would pale in comparison to the annual 7% increase in healthcare costs. At the current rate of growth, Dold’s preferred vouchers would be 42% further short the price of health care in 2050 – just in time for our children to join the system. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/28/12]
1 Bloomberg, 8/13/12
2 CBO, 4/5/11
4 H.R. 427, Vote #481, 7/28/2015