Issue Position: Medicare

Issue Position

In 2011, the Medicare Trustees released a report stating that Medicare would begin paying out more than it takes in by 2024, and that the Medicare trust fund would be completely depleted shortly after that if no preventative measures are taken. Doing nothing at this point would mean bankrupting Medicare.

We voted to enact a fiscally responsible budget for the 2012 fiscal year that would have preserved both Social Security and Medicare for current beneficiaries and for those near the retirement age, as well as ensured the programs' existence and sustainability for future beneficiaries. Unfortunately, gridlock in Washington, specifically in the Senate, killed the budget, further demonstrating Washington's unwillingness to fight for our seniors.

I'm frustrated by the cuts to Medicare found in the Affordable Care Act. Seniors are facing more than $700 billion in cuts to their Medicare benefits, and the Medicare Advantage program was absolutely gutted--more than 7 million seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans in the next three years. This needs to be reversed.

I also want to address the significant problem of Medicare fraud. Rep. Peter Roskam introduced a great bill in the 111th Congress, H.R. 5546, which would establish fraud protections that could save American taxpayers more than $100 billion over the next decade.

Finally, I want to establish better physician access for people utilizing Medicare. Our seniors deserve full access to their doctors, and politics should not get in the way of that. Currently, the payment formula for doctors under Medicare is severely flawed, and seniors are losing coverage because of it.