Setting the Record Straight on Medicare and the House Budget Resolution
There has been a flurry of misinformation surrounding the recent House Budget Resolution, the Path to Prosperity. So I thought it important to set the record straight on what our vote means for the country’s debt and also what it means specifically for you.
First, if you haven’t read it, please download and view a copy of my Budget presentation from my website. I’ve been giving this presentation at Town Halls all across the district, and it effectively portrays the mountain of debt we’re currently facing, and where we need to go.
The House Budget Committee’s Medicare Proposal has been the main topic of misinformation.
Unfortunately, many have decided to play politics rather than have an honest discussion; they have chosen to completely ignore the realities of our proposal and have chosen instead to scare seniors, demagogue and in some cases outright lie.
This is no way to have the ‘adult conversation’ President Obama proposed.
The truth is this: this plan preserves and protects the promise we’ve made to our seniors in the form of Medicare. But if we do nothing, that promise will be broken. Broken because we’re bankrupt. Broken because we’re staring down the barrel of trillions of dollars in unfunded promises we simply have no money to pay for. It’s time to be honest with the American people. That’s what we're doing with this Budget.
Oddly, no one in either Party seems to be suggesting that reforms aren’t necessary. However, only the House Budget Resolution offers real solutions. The opponents of this plan have not offered solutions to deal with the drivers of our debt: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which if left unchecked will within a relatively short period of time, consume 100% of all the money our Government spends.
Instead, many opponents have gone ‘over the top’ in an attempt to exploit for political gain anyone with the courage to do something about our unsustainable debt.
So here are some myths vs. facts, courtesy of the House Budget Committee, of which I’m a member. I will continue to update this as needed. Please feel free to share this with your friends.
Myths vs. Facts on the House Budget Resolution
MYTH: This budget ends Social Security and Medicare.
FACT: This budget saves and strengthens Social Security and Medicare. The Path To Prosperity makes no changes to these programs for Americans 55 and older. The government guarantee remains in place for both of these programs. It protects both of these programs for those 55 and older and saves these important safety nets so they can provide benefits to future generations of Americans when they retire. This budget spends more money each year on Social Security and Medicare, not less. Additional support would be provided to those with low-incomes and poor health. Failing to act – as the President’s budget does – would mean the end of these programs as we know them. Without action, the Social Security Trustees report that beneficiaries will either see a 22 percent benefit cut or a corresponding hike in payroll taxes. Similarly, the Trustees for Medicare say that “Without corrective legislation, therefore, the assets of the trust fund would be exhausted within the next 7 to 19 years.”
MYTH: The budget cuts benefits for low-income individuals on Medicaid.
FACT: The Path to Prosperity strengthens the Medicaid program by converting the federal share of the Medicaid payment into a block grant – just like the government did with welfare in the late 1990s—an action that is widely regarded as overwhelmingly successful. The initial allotment would be exactly as much as the states are receiving to pay for Medicaid today, and it would grow every year to account for inflation and population. This would allow states to tailor their programs to their low-income populations, allowing states maximum flexibility to focus their benefits on the specific needs of the state.
MYTH: This budget cuts taxes for the rich.
FACT: This budget reforms the tax code to make it simpler, flatter and fairer. While The Path to Prosperity proposes lower rates to promote growth, it also ends deductions and loopholes that go overwhelmingly to a relatively small class of mostly higher-income individuals. And it targets the carve-outs and loopholes that have allowed some corporations to avoid paying taxes altogether. This is not a net tax cut – it is a revenue-neutral reform to make our economy more competitive and help spur job creation and economic growth. It gets the government out of the politically-driven business of picking tax winners and losers. And it spares American employers from having to choose between hiring more workers and paying the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. Even the President says this action is necessary. In his State of the Union Address this past January, President Obama said this about tax code:“I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years –- without adding to our deficit. It can be done.” Our tax system must be reformed.