News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Flashpoint

June 3, 2012

FLASHPOINT: Preserving Medicare program remains a moral obligation

Over the past year, I’ve met with thousands of folks across each of the 8th District’s 19 counties, and the message was clear: Washington, D.C., is not listening to Hoosiers. At every stop, seniors, small business owners, families and workers voiced their frustration over the misguided budget decisions coming out of our nation’s capital. Hoosiers are angry that during these tough economic times, Congressman Bucshon would vote twice to end the Medicare guarantee, while giving more tax cuts to multimillionaires and companies that ship our jobs overseas. They have every right to be angry, and I share the same frustrations.

We have a moral obligation to take care of our nation’s seniors, and after a lifetime of paying into Medicare, we have a responsibility to ensure that the program is preserved for current and future retirees. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a matter of moral imperative and sound policy. Medicare ensures that seniors have access to affordable health coverage, provides seniors with essential financial security, and eases the burden of skyrocketing health care costs.

I am equally concerned about the impact that certain aspects of President Obama’s health care law will have on the Medicare program. The new law places a tremendous amount of power in the hands of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of appointed officials who will have the power to make changes to the Medicare program. Because voters will not be able to hold this board accountable, it poses a serious risk to the future of Medicare, and I believe that IPAB should be eliminated. And I absolutely oppose the provision of the law that takes $500 billion away from Medicare. This aspect of the law must be changed.

Everybody in Indiana knows that times are tough, and during tough times, you have to make sacrifices. We have to cut spending and balance the budget, but seniors and the middle-class shouldn’t always be on the losing end in Washington’s budget decisions. Programs that protect the health and financial security of our nation’s seniors should not be the first items on the chopping block.

Unfortunately, Congressman Bucshon has a different view. He wants seniors to pay over $6,000 more each year for the same health benefits and give more tax cuts to multimillionaires. This approach is absolutely irresponsible, and Congressman Bucshon must be held accountable.

What I’ve learned as I travel the district and listen to residents’ concerns is that Hoosiers simply want someone who shares their values and who has their back in the face of a broken Washington. Unfortunately, that’s not the type of representative we have right now. If Congressman Bucshon took the time to listen to his constituents, he would quickly realize that dismantling Medicare is completely out of step with the interests of the 8th District.

Hoosiers deserve better. Today, we have a congressman who has consistently stood with special interests at the expense of American seniors and the middle-class.

That’s why I’m running for Congress — to stand up for our seniors, and to make sure hard-working Hoosiers have someone fighting for them.

Dave Crooks is a small business owner, radio broadcaster, former state representative and candidate for United States Congress. Dave lives with his wife Shelley in Washington. They have three children, Mackenzie, Jared, and Jacob.

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