Fresh off their loss in the special election for an open House seat in western New York, House Republicans are fighting back, trying to defend themselves against what they call false attacks by Democrats.
The move comes the day after Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin in the Buffalo-Rochester-area race. Giddy Democrats say the win serves notice on Republican House members that they will be held accountable for their efforts to revamp Medicare in 2012.
Hochul's victory has largely been attributed to her attacks on the Medicare reforms in the House-approved GOP 2012 budget proposal.
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Led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whose budget plan has been the chief Democratic target, Republicans on Wednesday released a video to counter what they say are the “false attacks” on their Medicare proposals. The GOP video counteroffensive is titled: “The Facts on Medicare and How to Save It.”
In a statement accompanying the video release, Ryan, who narrates the new House Budget Committee video, sticks with the Medicare reform idea: “House Republicans have advanced solutions to save Medicare.”
He accuses Democrats of using the issue to gain political advantage. “Instead of working with us, the leaders of the Democratic Party have opted to play politics with the health security of America’s seniors,” says Ryan.
Ryan starts by telling viewers, “Washington has not been honest with you about Medicare. Medicare is a critical program which helps seniors achieve health security. But the truth is it’s headed for a painful collapse.”
The video outlines the GOP’s view of the differences between their plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program and President Obama’s proposals. The president’s plan is described as “putting government in charge.”
But under the Republican plan, Ryan says, “patients will have the freedom to choose from a list of guaranteed coverage options—the same kind of system members of Congress enjoy today.”
“The urgent need to reform Medicare and the president’s misguided approach have left us with a serious question to ask: Who should be making health care decisions for you and your family—a government monopoly and a panel of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?” the video concludes.