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MEMO: No Cure for Dems Medicare Headache

- February 26, 2014

FROM: Sean Spicer, RNC Communications Director; Andrea Bozek, NRCC Communications Director; Brad Dayspring, NRSC Communications Director

TO: Interested Parties

RE: No Cure for Dems Medicare Headache

Last Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a 3.55 percent cut to Medicare Advantage rates. These cuts are due to be finalized April 7th and will affect 30% of all Medicare recipients – or 16 million seniors - enrolled in the program. The reason is simple: ObamaCare robs Medicare Advantage by $156 billion.

Because of this drastic cut, seniors across the country will see their premiums rise, benefits shrink, and may lose access to the doctor they’ve known for years.

This reality is harmful to our senior citizens and is a political nightmare for Democrats. President Obama’s approval ratings are collapsing in swing Congressional Districts and top Senate races and ObamaCare is weighing Democrats down among key demographics they relied on in 2012. Seniors are among the most reliable voters in the 2014 electorate. This is a headache Democrats and their candidates cannot afford but cannot avoid, as it only threatens to highlight ObamaCare as a dominant issue in 2014.

Already, Democrats have watched the Medicare issue – once a strong suit for them – evaporate in recent cycles. In 2010, The New York Times said Republican attacks on Democrats over Medicare were “one of the most prevalent political advertisements” during the midterm elections.

Why is this so potent? Because Democrats from coast to coast vowed to protect Medicare, yet they continue to put a law that bleeds the program dry above the seniors they represent.

  • In 2009, Senator Kay Hagan promised North Carolina seniors they wouldn’t see a drop in their Medicare coverage. Mary Landrieu promised that ObamaCare would strengthen Medicare. Today, thanks to their support for ObamaCare, more than half of a million seniors on Medicare Advantage in their states will see their benefits cut between $50 to $90 per month.
  • California Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz repeatedly promised he’d protect Medicare and vowed to oppose any effort that weakens it. Yet he still supports the very same law that is cutting the benefits of California seniors by $70 to $80 a month.

These examples are reflective of countless other Democratic candidates whose blatant hypocrisy will be on full display this election cycle. This issue is not going away and they’ll be forced to explain why they claim to protect Medicare while supporting a law that makes drastic cuts to its funding.

When selling ObamaCare to the American people, Democrats made promise after promise they knew they couldn’t keep. You can look no further than PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year”: “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.” But now, as ObamaCare is fully implemented and Americans – including seniors – see the law for the failure it is, Democrats’ broken promises are meeting a harsh reality. Deceiving seniors about Medicare isn't the first lie Democrats told about ObamaCare, but it serves as the latest reminder that voters can't trust them to keep their word.

Make no mistake, our organizations are laser focused on ensuring seniors across the country understand who is to blame for these devastating Medicare Advantage cuts and who broke their promises – because the only cure to ObamaCare is getting rid of the dishonest politicians who supported this train wreck.



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