June 20, 2011
It has come to our attention that AARP will begin an advertising campaign tomorrow that will accuse Congress of prioritizing wasteful spending over Medicare benefits. Click here to view the ad. We have included a transcript of the ad in case it is removed from its current location.
Transcript of the AARP ad:
Man #1—“If Congress really wants to balance the budget,”
Woman #1—“They could stop spending our money on things like…”
Woman #2—“A cotton institute in Brazil,”
Man #2—“Poetry at zoos,”
Woman #1—“Treadmills for shrimp,”
Man #1—“But instead of cutting waste,”
Man #2—“Or closing tax loopholes.”
Woman #1—“Next month Congress could make a deal that cuts Medicare…”
Woman #2—“even Social Security.”
Man #1—“I guess it’s easier to cut the benefits we earned, than to cut pickle technology.”
Please take a few moments to review these Medicare and spending facts. While this ad does not explicitly address the House Republican budget, we thought it was important that Members have these facts at their disposal.
The House Republican budget saves Medicare for current retirees and strengthens the program to ensure that future generations of Americans can continue to receive benefits when they retire.
- The House Republican budget includes no Medicare changes for those 55 and older and spends more each year on Medicare than the year before. The budget keeps the current program unchanged for those at or near retirement to avoid disruption in their lives and health care planning.
- For people 54 and younger, Medicare will allow them to select among Medicare-guaranteed plan choices (much like the current Medicare Prescription Drug program), with more help going to the poorer and sicker than the wealthier and healthier. The budget harnesses the power of choice to reduce costs and to maintain quality care and access for beneficiaries.
- The House Republican budget also takes more than half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts that President Obama and Democrats used to help finance the government takeover of health care and instead uses the money to shore up Medicare.
Discretionary savings are important, but they won’t save Medicare or solve our debt crisis.
- These misleading ads imply that Medicare can be saved and our debt crisis averted simply by ending wasteful government spending or closing tax loopholes—which is simply not true.
- In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report which found between $100 billion and $200 billion in unacceptable and duplicative government waste, totaling less than 4 cents for every dollar of spending in the president’s latest budget. Spending on Medicare in 2011 is currently 15 percent of the president’s budget and is set to grow by 72 percent over the next ten years.
- House Republicans are addressing Washington’s spending addiction by reducing discretionary spending to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels with exceptions for our veterans and national defense.
President Obama and Democrats have already ended Medicare “as we know it.”
- President Obama and Democrats cut $575 billion from the Medicare program and accelerated its path toward bankruptcy possibly as early as 2020. Instead of extending the solvency of Medicare, Democrats slashed Medicare spending in order to help pay for new entitlement programs we cannot afford.
- Insolvency of Medicare’s HI Trust Fund will be disastrous. According to CMS, “Beneficiary access to health care services would rapidly be curtailed.” The Medicare Actuary leaves no doubt: “Medicare beneficiaries would almost certainly face increasingly severe problems with access to care.”
President Obama and Democrats empowered a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats (“Independent Payment Advisory Board”) to decide which Medicare benefits to cut and how much less to pay providers.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office