Fall River Mills, CA – Doug LaMalfa has backed a plan that would bankrupt Medicare in four years, put millions of seniors at risk of losing their health care and return billions in waste, fraud and abuse back into the health care system. And it’s all in order to give subsidies to the insurance companies and hospitals that are contributing thousands to his campaign. LaMalfa’s stance puts him out of step not only with Congressional Republicans who voted for these long-term savings in Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan, but also the White House. (1) (2)
“Doug LaMalfa’s plan endangers the lives of our seniors, who could be forced to choose between feeding themselves and their health care if his plan to bankrupt Medicare goes through,” said LaMalfa’s opponent, Democrat Jim Reed. “Anyone voting on Tuesday should know that LaMalfa won’t stand up for our seniors. We simply can’t let this happen.”
Until just three weeks ago, LaMalfa’s only campaign position on his website was an erroneous argument to repeal the Affordable Care Act. LaMalfa said the act would cut $716 billion from Medicare, thus hurting seniors. Every non-partisan analyst who has studied the act has confirmed differently. Instead of LaMalfa’s lie, the act would save Medicare $700 by eliminating waste and inefficiencies within the insurance bureaucracy. Every guaranteed benefit would remain in place under the current act, and many would be added like free preventative care. (3)
But LaMalfa favors bureaucracy at the expense of saving Medicare. LaMalfa’s plan, what he calls a “market-oriented approach,” would kill the program by the year 2016.
“Doug wants to privatize Medicare and switch to a voucher system that would throw the health care system into the hands of insurance companies that are funding his campaign,” Reed said. “We absolutely can’t do this. Doug’s plan is a threat to this beloved program and a threat to the health of our older Americans.”
It’s not surprising that LaMalfa would support such a dubious plan forseniors. He has taken more than $34,000 from health care and insurance companies for his campaign and has a terrible voting record in Sacramento. (4) In 10 years of state government, he has consistently opposed measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs, expand senior-targeted health insurance coverage and improve quality of life for nursing home patients. He opposed SB 1248, a law upgrading California standards for nursing homes and other intermediate care facilities. (5)
“The senior citizens of our district deserve a moderate Congressman who looks out for them – not an ideologue who wants to shred government programs at the expense of properly honoring and caring for our elderly residents,” Reed said. “Putting seniors at the mercy of insurance companies trying to profit off their backs isn’t what America needs. We need to strengthen Medicare, not send it to insolvency for the extremists to earn political points.”
(1) “Those Medicare savings -achieved through reduced provider
reimbursements and curbed waste, fraud and abuse, not benefit cuts –
appear in the House Republicans’ FY 2013 budget, which Ryan authored.”
[ABC News, 8/14/12]
(2) CNN Fact Check: Would Romney bankrupt Medicare by 2016? 9/7/2012.
(3) Annenberg Public Policy Center/FactCheck.org: Misleading onslaught
by 60 Plus, 9/17/2010.
(4) [Federal Elections Commission, Accessed 11/3/12]
(5) [SB 1248, AB 813, AB 2747]