RNC: Obama and Democrats Put Medicare Cuts in Debt Ceiling Deal

Aug 04, 2011, 11:27 ET from Republican National Committee

Reach Out And Touch Medicare

For The Record…It Was Obama Who Offered To Cut Hundreds Of Billions In Medicare During The Debt Debate

WASHINGTON, Aug 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO)

USA Today: "Cuts in Medicare and other entitlement programs are on the table." (Susan Page and Fredreka Schouten, "Political Damage Even If A Debt Deal Is Done," USA Today, 7/31/11)

Obama Agreed To Medicare Cuts In Debt Ceiling Deal. "The deal announced on Sunday by Congressional leaders and the White House would make across-the-board cuts in military spending, education, transportation and Medicare payments to health care providers if Congress does not enact further deficit-cutting legislation by the end of the year." (Robert Pear, "Congress Must Trim Deficit To Avoid Broader Cuts," The New York Times, 7/31/11)

  • Obama Said "Adjustments" Must Be Made To Medicare. OBAMA: "Yes, that means making some adjustments to protect health care programs like Medicare so they're there for future generations."(President Barack Obama, Remarks On Budget Control Act, Washington, D.C., 8/2/11)


Obama  Put "Major Changes" To Medicare On The Table During Debt Ceiling Negotiations. "To hit the $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, the congressional committee is likely to reconsider major changes to Medicare that the White House and congressional leaders put on the table during this summer's debt-ceiling negotiations." (Janet Adamy, "Debt Deal May Hit Medicare," The Wall Street Journal, 8/2/11)

During The Debt Ceiling Negotiations, Obama Offered $650 Billion In Cuts To Entitlement Programs Like Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security. OBAMA: "We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way." (President Barack Obama, Remarks On Deficit Negotiations, Washington, D.C., 7/22/11)

  • Obama Said He Was Willing "To Sign A Tough Package" That Included Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security." OBAMA: "So here's where we stand.  We have a Democratic President and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts, modifications to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare that would strengthen those systems and allow them to move forward, and would include a revenue component." (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The Status Of Efforts To Find A Balanced Approach To Deficit Reduction, Washington, D.C., 7/19/11)

Obama Said He Was Open To Increasing The Age Of Eligibility For Medicare. OBAMA: "I've said that means testing on Medicare, meaning people like myself, if -- I'm going to be turning 50 in a week.  So I'm starting to think a little bit more about Medicare eligibility.  (Laughter.)  Yes, I'm going to get my AARP card soon -- and the discounts." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Conference, Washington, D.C, 7/15/11)

  • Obama Offered To Increase Medicare Eligibility Of Age, Adjust Premiums For Services Covered By Part B And D, Reform Deductibles, And Limit Certain Supplemental Insurance Coverage. "As for Medicare I am told the two sides were actually 'very close.' Obama had offered, according to a knowledgeable source, to increase the Medicare eligibility age, adjust premiums collected for services and benefits currently covered by Part B and Part D, reform and streamline deductibles and co-insurance for covered services and limit certain types of supplemental insurance coverage. All of this sounds very similar to a plan introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). If this is correct, the Democrats will have a mighty hard time reviving the Mediscare gambit."(Jennifer Rubin, "How The White House Killed The Deal," The Washington Post's Right Turn, 7/22/11)

Obama Said He Was Open To Means Testing Medicare. ABC NEWS' JAKE TAPPER: "In the interest of transparency, leadership and offering – also showing the American people that you have been negotiating in good faith, can you tell us one structural reform that you are willing to make to one of these entitlement programs that would have a major impact on the deficit?  Would you be willing to raise the retirement age?  Would you be willing to means test Social Security or Medicare?" OBAMA:  "We've said that we are willing to look at all those approaches.  I've laid out some criteria in terms of what would be acceptable.  So for example, I've said very clearly that we should make sure that current beneficiaries, as much as possible, are not affected, but we should look at what can we do in the out years so that, over time, some of these programs are more sustainable.  I've said that means testing on Medicare, meaning people like myself, if -- you know, I'm going to be turning 50 in a week, so…" (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/15/11)

Obama Admitted That The Democrats' Do-Nothing Plan On Medicare Will Result In Medicare's Bankruptcy. OBAMA: "But look, it's also going to take some work on our side in order to get this thing done. I mean, the vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements. Would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems. And I'm sympathetic to their concerns, because they're looking after folks that are already hurting and are already vulnerable. And there are a lot of families out there and seniors who are dependent on some of these programs. What I've tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it's not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. And if you're a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great, that we look after our seniors and look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term."  (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/11/11)

White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe Said Cuts In Medicare Are Necessary.  PLOUFFE:"We're going to do historic amounts of domestic spending cuts, entitlement reforms in areas of Medicare, and it's been reported – the president is willing to look at things like raising the retirement age in Medicare, additional savings in Medicare, even willing to look at some adjustments in Social Security down the line. So we've been very clear – and I think the American people are clear about the approach they want – which is a balanced approach." (CBS, "Evening News," 7/27/11)

Obama White House: Our Position On Medicare Is The GOP's Position

Obama And Republicans "Were Not Apart At All On Medicare." "And the two sides were not apart at all on Medicare, the other health entitlement that has been a part of the discussions." (Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)

Obama And Republicans' Differences On Medicaid Were "Miniscule." "On Medicaid, the differences were minuscule, an administration source said."(Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)

White House Official Claimed That Obama And The Republicans Were "Identical" On Medicare, Agreeing On "Eligibility, Cost-Sharing, Premiums, And Other Facets Of The Program." "'On Medicare, we were identical,' the official claimed, saying the president had agreed with Republicans on eligibility, cost-sharing, premiums and other facets of the program." (Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)

  • White House Official Confirmed "Every Other Major Issue Was Basically Agreed To, Including Raising Medicare Eligibility Age. "Every other major issue was basically agreed to, including raising the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 67 years old 'over a long period of time,' the administration official added."(Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)

"Other General Areas Of Agreement Included Extending The Payroll Tax, Extending Unemployment Benefits And Altering The Consumer Price Index On Social Security." (Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)

"Some Of The Figures Being Discussed Would Cut $150 Billion In Healthcare Provider Payments, Raise $150 Billion In Premiums And $125 Billion In Medicaid Reductions." (Bob Cusack and Sam Youngman, "White House: Before Boehner Walked, Debt Deal Was Close At Hand," The Hill, 7/22/11)


Democrats Are Nervous About Losing Their Political Advantage On Medicare As A Result Of Obama's Proposed Cuts During The Debt Ceiling Debate. "That's why Democrats are so nervous about what might happen to Medicare as a result of the debt ceiling crisis. In their eyes, the Ryan plan had completely turned the tables for 2012. It was going to be about Ryancare, not Obamacare." (David Nather, "Does Deal Muddy Medicare Waters?" Politico, 7/31/11)

Democrat Operatives Worried That They Have Lost Their Political Advantage On Medicare. "But now that Obama has put some big Medicare changes on the table as he tried to negotiate with Republicans — such as raising the eligibility age, increasing premiums and changing deductibles and co-payments — some Democratic operatives are worried that the tables will become unturned."(David Nather, "Does Deal Muddy Medicare Waters?" Politico, 7/31/11)

  • Democratic Pollster Anna Greenberg: "I definitely think it muddies the waters. … I do think that no matter what happens, things have gotten murkier."(David Nather, "Does Deal Muddy Medicare Waters?" Politico, 7/31/11)

Top Senate Democrats Oppose Making Any Cuts To Medicare Because It Robs Democrats Opportunity To Demagogue Republicans On The Issue. "Top Democrats in charge of keeping the Senate in Dem hands and maintaining the political health of the party — DSCC chair Patty Murray and messaging chief Chuck Schumer — have privately expressed frustration that deep Medicare cuts risk squandering the major political advantage Democrats have built up on the issue, people familiar with internal discussions say." (Greg Sargent, "Top Senate Dems Privately Warn: Deep Medicare Cuts Will Squander Our Big Advantage On Issue," The Washington Post's The Plum Line, 7/11/11)

  • Democrats Would Rather Keep Their Political Advantage To Demagogue On Medicare Than Actually Enact Any Meaningful Reforms. "'We shouldn't be giving away our advantage on Medicare,' said a source familiar with Murray's thinking, in characterizing her objections in private meetings. 'We should be very careful about giving away the biggest advantage we've had as Democrats in some time.'"(Greg Sargent, "Top Senate Dems Privately Warn: Deep Medicare Cuts Will Squander Our Big Advantage On Issue," The Washington Post's The Plum Line, 7/11/11)

Democrats Frustrated With Potential Cuts To Medicare Because "Protecting Medicare And Social Security Was A Defining Democratic Value, And That Agreeing To Cuts Would Be A Gift To Republicans If Not Political Suicide." "During the caucus meeting, the attendee emailed, 'there was great frustration that the Obama administration was discussing cutting Medicare and Social Security (there was a little less emphasis on Medicaid). The general sense was that protecting Medicare and Social Security was a defining Democratic value, and that agreeing to cuts would be a gift to Republicans if not political suicide.'" (Sam Stein, "DCCC Chair Steve Israel Relays Fears Over Candidate Recruitment If Dems Buckle On Medicare," The Huffington Post, 7/8/11)

Not Endorsed By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee

SOURCE Republican National Committee