News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 10, 2012

FLASHPOINT: False attacks about Medicare misleading district’s voters

Rep. Larry Bucshon
8th District, Indiana, U.S. House of Representatives

---- — As a practicing heart surgeon for more than 15 years, I treated hundreds of Medicare patients. For many of those patients, entering the operating room resulted in a life-saving procedure. Now, for political reasons, the future of Medicare is under attack.   

As your congressman, and one of only 19 physicians in Congress, I know Medicare has helped save the lives of thousands of Hoosiers. This is why I am working diligently to preserve and protect the program for current beneficiaries and future generations.

My political opponent, Dave Crooks, would like to scare you into believing that I am working to end Medicare. To be frank, this is a lie and has been proven as such. In fact, the nonpartisan and Pulitzer Prize winning, called this false attack the “2011 Lie of the Year,” as reported by the Evansville Courier & Press in February.

My opponent is making a political statement in an attempt to distract voters from his endorsement of President Obama and his support of failed liberal policies like Obamacare. This is typical of a career politician that will “say what people want to hear,” as reported in a recent interview. Even worse, he states, “I’ve had more than one person claim I can sell ice to an Eskimo.” What is my opponent trying to sell the voters?

Dave Crooks’ comments are startling. Recently, when defending Obamacare, he reiterated his support for the government takeover of health care, stating “… Obamacare continues to get ‘demonized’, people are confused and do not know what good could come of it.”

What good could come from a law that cut $575 billion from Medicare and created a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats with the sole purpose of proposing cost-cutting measures to current benefits?

Unlike Dave Crooks, I don’t believe my fellow Hoosiers are confused about Obamacare. Hoosiers know that Obamacare is bad for them, their families, and seniors. We understand exactly what it is and we reject it.

I have voted three times for full repeal of Obamacare; it cannot be "fixed." Republicans are ready to offer a replacement package that provides real reforms that control the rising cost of health care and provides coverage to those that need it.

Just a month ago, President Obama’s own Medicare Trustees released their 2012 annual report stating, for the second year in a row, Medicare Part A will be bankrupt in 2024. Unfortunately, a career politician is attempting to distort my responsible record in an attempt to distract voters from his lack of a plan to solve the impending problems with coverage and rising costs associated with the president’s handling of Medicare.

Rather than providing our seniors with a sensible plan to ensure the Medicare guarantee and choice moving forward, my opponent would rather play politics and falsely attack me. If Dave Crooks offers no plan, then he will idly watch the impending bankruptcy of Medicare in 12 years. This will lead to immediate cuts for current beneficiaries.

The Medicare program, one of the most relied-upon programs in history, is in trouble. During the first leg of my district-wide Medicare Listening Tour, I heard from seniors who are rightfully concerned about the current, failing policies supported by the president and liberals like my opponent.

I am proud to be working to address real problems, providing practical solutions, and stopping failed liberal policies like Obamacare. I left a career as a physician two years ago because I was tired of watching serious problems ignored. My experience as a heart surgeon provides a unique perspective to the challenges that lie ahead for health care and Medicare. I am running for re-election to continue addressing the significant challenges that face our country.

I have led the fight to preserve and strengthen the Medicare guarantee for our current seniors and for the future of the program. The bipartisan plan I support proposes no changes for anyone currently over age 55 and allows future seniors the choice between traditional Medicare and a Medicare plan similar to insurance coverage I receive as a member of Congress.

Instead of providing responsible solutions, my opponent continues to mislead voters and run from his previous support of Obamacare in an attempt to say the politically expedient sound bite and garner false support. Hoosiers don’t need any more career politicians who would rather distort the truth than provide sensible solutions.

Dr. Larry Bucshon is a Republican serving his first term as Indiana’s 8th District representative in the U.S. House. He is a resident of Newburgh.