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Western NY Voters Worried About Medicare Western NY Voters Worried About Medicare

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Western NY Voters Worried About Medicare


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., campaigned Sunday to help his party win the New York special House race.(Liz Lynch)

Earlier in the day, Hochul spent her morning at the Hillview Diner, in nearby Depew, N.Y., asking breakfast-goers for their votes. Concerns over potential changes to Medicare arose at nearly every table. After chatting with Hochul, Sue and Mike Sanker said they'd both be voting with her for one main reason - the Republican budget. "I don't want them to turn Medicare into a voucher program," said Sue Sanker. She said she'd seen the commercials saying Corwin was for the changes to Medicare -- an attack used in ads aired by both Hochul and, beginning this week, by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The newly-formed House Majority PAC also plans an ad blitz beginning next week hammering Corwin over Medicare. Don Pascucci of Clarence said he is still undecided on who he'd vote for in the election, but identified Medicare and the rising deficit as the two issues most important to him. While Pascucci, who considers himself an independent, agrees that "the spending has to stop," he was not enthused about the Ryan plan. "This Medicare plan, it's an open-ended voucher program," he said. "That concerns me." Corwin supports the Ryan plan. In a district where nearly 15 percent of the population is senior citizens, she has been stressing that it would not affect Medicare for voters over age 55. But she argues that Ryan's proposal is needed because Medicare is unsustainable in its current form. A new federal report this week said Medicare will go broke in 2024, five years earlier than previously projected. "There's a lot of criticisms of a plan that I'm supporting, but I haven't seen any other plans offered from [Hochul and Davis], and I think that that's too big of an issue to just ignore," Corwin said in a Friday interview. She's also been getting support from the Medicare plan's architect: Ryan sent out a fundraising appeal from his Prosperity PAC on Friday asking for last-minute fundraising help on the New York Republican's behalf. "Throughout the campaign, [Corwin] has voiced her support for my budget proposal. This will come as no surprise to many of you, but the playbook the Democrats and special interests have been using to attack me is being used right now in New York's 26th District. You know the drill: they spread all kinds of falsehoods about the Path to Prosperity and see what sticks. Jane Corwin needs our help," Ryan wrote, setting a $5,000 contribution goal. On Friday, his PAC donated $2,500 to Corwin. Though May 2, Corwin reported raising $304,000 in donations, but has largely been underwriting the campaign herself. On Friday, she added another $500,000 of her own money, bringing the total that she has financed to nearly $2.5 million and surpassing the $2.1 million that Davis -- who isn't accepting outside contributions -- gave his campaign. Republicans, meanwhile, tried to take advantage of Hochul's fundraising, pouncing on a New York City fundraiser she held that featured House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi among the guests. As House speaker last year, Pelosi was a favorite target of Republicans. This year, they are painting Hochul as the San Francisco Democrat's "hand-picked candidate. "Kathy Hochul just doesn't get it," said Corwin spokesman Matthew Harakal. "Voters across the country rejected Nancy Pelosi's tax-and-spend economic policies which have brought our economy to a screeching halt, but Kathy Hochul continues to push that same failed agenda."

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