05/25/2011 - POSITION UNKNOWN: Does Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock support abolishing Medicare?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2011
POSITION UNKNOWN: Does Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock support abolishing Medicare?
Richard Lugar says he’ll vote for Tea Party-backed plan; Tea Party darling Mourdock has taken no public position
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democrats today questioned whether Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed candidate in next year’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, would support an extreme Republican proposal to abolish the current Medicare program and replace it with a disastrous voucher program that would cost Hoosier seniors an average of $6,600 more in health care costs.
In a surprising break from fellow moderate Republicans, Indiana’s senior senator Richard Lugar, said this week that he’ll vote for the plan, yet another move to the far right as he attempts to placate the Tea Party base before next May’s primary election.
“Senator Lugar’s decision is disappointing to say the least, but more alarming for Hoosiers is the fact that Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock hasn’t even weighed in on the disastrous plan,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker. “Under the Tea Party plan, Hoosier seniors would pay thousands more out of their own pockets. Unfortunately, no one has any idea where Mourdock stands on the issue.”
The Senate is expected to vote on the controversial proposal this week, and several moderate senators already have gone on the record in opposition to it.
A new report from the Joint Economic Committee showed that the extreme Republican budget would more than double the out-of-pocket health care costs for the average Hoosier senior, rising from $6,404 under traditional Medicare to $13,021 under the Republican plan.
Lugar Declared He Would Support The Republican Budget. In May 2011, Lugar told reporters that he would back the plan. Lugar said “that he deemed the House Republican plan a ‘constructive’ budget and that he believed Ryan has ‘had the courage to indicate that everybody over 55 will continue as they are; those who are younger will have to be involved in some new thinking.’ ‘There are no other alternatives thus far, but in any event, I support the creative thinking that has been expressed by the congressman,’ he added.” [Washington Post, 2Chambers blog, 5/23/2011]
Indy Star: Mourdock is a “Hero of the Tea Party Movement.” According to the Indianapolis Star, Mourdock is “a hero of the tea party movement.” [Indianapolis Star, 4/16/10]
Wall Street Journal: GOP Plan Would “End Medicare.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11]
Americans Would Have “Forgo Treatment” Under the GOP Plan. The New York Timesreported that the elderly, the poor and the disabled may have to “forgo treatment” under the Republican plan. According to the newspaper, “Mr. Ryan would largely privatize Medicare starting in 2022…The real result is that the most vulnerable — the elderly, the poor, the disabled — will have to pay more for care or forgo treatment.” [New York Times Editorial, 4/5/11]
996,966 People Are Currently Enrolled In Medicare In Indiana. [statehealthfacts.org]
GOP Plan Will Double Out of Pocket Health Care Costs For Indiana Seniors. The Republican plan to end Medicare will increase out-of-pocket health care costs for a typical 65 year-old Indiana senior by $6,618 in 2022 – more than double the cost under current law. [DPCC Fact Sheet; JEC Report, 5/20/11]
96,400 Indiana Seniors Would Pay $54 Million More for Prescription Drugs. In Indiana, more than 96,400 seniors would pay $54 million more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone under the Republican plan. [DPCC Fact Sheet]
GOP Plan Would Cut $9 Billion in Health Care Funding for Seniors and the Disabled. In Indiana, the Republican plan could cut $9 billion in federal health carefunding for seniors and the disabled through Medicaid, including life-saving nursing homecare. [DPCC Fact Sheet]