Allen West
Candidates running for election who love to use fear mongering and scare tactics to persuade voters are usually hiding their incompetency. This election cycle is no exception, and it has never been more apparent than when it comes to debating the issue of Medicare.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are constantly telling Americans that Republicans want to “End Medicare as we know it.” However, just by saying it does not make it true.

Republicans understand that America has a responsibility to its seniors to preserve and protect Medicare and we are committed to our future generations of Americans.

What seems to get lost in the scare tactics is the simple undeniable truth that Medicare is on a pathway to bankruptcy. The Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees report has these programs going “belly up” in 2024 and 2033 respectively.

Just look at the numbers. Americans pay $110,000 -$115,000 into Medicare, but receive closer to $300,000 in benefits. This simply cannot sustain itself. In addition, Medicare is rife with widespread fraud, making the system even more insolvent.

While many on the left want you to believe Republicans will end Medicare, it is the Democrat-controlled Congress that enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with plans to slash $716 billion from Medicare over the next ten years. This is not a political talking point but comes directly from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

These cuts to Medicare cannot be disputed. President Obama and the Congressional Democrats want to use Medicare as a “slush fund” to pay for their massive government expansion into healthcare. Unfortunately, the money meant for seniors’ health care will go directly into creating 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies.

The cuts include $517 billion to Part A (Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund) and $247 billion to Part B (Supplemental Medicare Insurance Trust Fund) as follows:

- $294 billion payment cuts to hospitals

- $156 billion cuts to Medicare Advantage affecting 25 percent of seniors nationwide

- $39 billion cuts to skilled nursing

- $17 billion cuts to hospice care

- $66 billion cuts to home healthcare

- $33 billion cuts to other providers

- $11 billion cuts resulting from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (the 15-member panel of unelected government bureaucrats making Medicare price control decisions).

The Democrats’ approach thus far has been to deny the facts, demonize its opponents’ solutions, and essentially do nothing. The Republicans, on the other hand, are working to solve the problem before it becomes unsolvable.

The House-passed budget plan does not affect Medicare for anyone 55 years of age and older. When younger Americans become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options, including a traditional fee-for-service option. Medicare will be determined by a competitive bidding process, helping drive down prices and improving the quality of care for our future seniors. All of this will allow recipients to choose a plan that best suits their needs.

The facts are that the House-passed budget championed by Congressman Paul Ryan actually increases spending on Medicare over the next 10 years.

Through all the mudslinging and the political platitudes about who really wants to protect and preserve Medicare, the question is very simple. Whom shall Americans trust in this critical debate?

Will Americans trust those who stated, “We must pass the bill in order to know what is in the bill?”

Will Americans trust those who said the healthcare bill will only cost the American taxpayers $940 billion only to find out it now costs closer to $1.7 trillion?

Or will Americans trust those who said the individual mandate was not a tax, only to find out in order for it to be declared constitutional, the mandate must in fact be a tax?

The facts are clear. Americans should trust Conservatives. We’ve put forward a plan that protects Medicare exactly as it is for today’s seniors and preserves Medicare for our future generations.


Allen West

Congressman Allen West proudly and humbly serves the constituents of Florida's 22nd district, encompassing parts of beautiful Broward and Palm Beach Counties along South Florida's coastline.