Leader Cantor Statement on Medicare
May 20, 2011
Contact: Doug Heye, Megan Whittemore
202-225-4000

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today issued the following statement after Democratic Leaders reiterated their position to do nothing to prevent Medicare insolvency:

“Democrats like to champion themselves as the defenders of Medicare, but today’s Democratic party is willing to stand idly by as Medicare goes bankrupt. The latest Medicare Trustees report makes clear that the program is much closer to bankruptcy than believed even last year, and that the program is in far more trouble than the Trustees or CBO had projected. The truth is that Medicare taxes and premiums only cover a little more than half of the cost of the program, and most Americans understand that the program needs to be changed to preserve and protect it for future seniors. That is why Republicans have offered a plan to guarantee benefits for seniors and those approaching retirement while ensuring that this important safety-net exists for Americans under 54 years of age.

"In stark contrast, the current Democratic plan for Medicare - endorsed by President Obama, Leader Reid, and Leader Pelosi - is the rationing of care, elimination of benefits, and bankruptcy of the popular program. Even worse, while Democrats do nothing to save Medicare from collapse, they have tried to scare seniors by mischaracterizing real solutions to strengthen and save the program and using those efforts as a political weapon. Americans deserve the truth, and they deserve a choice of solutions to save our entitlement programs, which is why I hope that Democrats finally start taking this responsibility seriously and offer a plan to save Medicare."

BACKGROUND:

• Yesterday, Leader Pelosi stated: “We have a plan. It’s called Medicare.” (Washington Post, The Plum Line, 5/19/2011)

• Today the LA Times reported: “But Democrats are content to keep the GOP Medicare proposal in focus as a weapon against Republicans. Democrats, meanwhile, have come under criticism for failing to present their own budget. They are divided over whether to include a provision for millionaires' surtax. Reid said budget legislation was not needed until later, when it would carry the deal reached in bipartisan talks.” (LA Times, 5/20/2011)