Gibson vs. Schreibman on Medicare
Aug 15, 2012 1:47 am
Since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential nominee last weekend, Congressional candidates across the nation have been running to and from Ryan's position on several budget issues, including Medicare. In the Aug. 14 Capitol Confidential blog, Jimmy Vielkind quotes both Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman and Republican incumbent Chris Gibson about their political views in relation to Ryan's, in their contest for the NY 19th Congressional district seat.
“Medicare is possibly the most successful program that exists to protect our seniors and ensure that in times of need they have health insurance,” said Schreibman. “It’s been the most successful program at controlling costs…Medicare does that more successfully than other insurance plans. Protecting it is front and center in this election. The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate confirms that changing Medicare radically and ending it as we know it is part of the agenda.” He called the voucher system “an underfunded coupon plan.” Gibson voted for Ryan’s 2011 budget plan, which included the voucher system — Gibson has always insisted on calling it a system of “premium support” — but passed over Ryan’s Republican-authored budget plan this year in favor of the bipartisan Cooper-LaTourette plan, which is silent on the issue of vouchers v. fee for services, but sets cost targets to be worked out later. It also includes a framework for comprehensive tax reform and sets defense budget targets $500 billion less than Ryan’s plan. “Cooper-LaTourette left a lot to the imagination. The congressman voted that way only after redistricting gave him a tough race,” Schreibman said. “Nothing he has ever said has been inconsistent with his support for the Ryan budget. Those are what his principles are, and we’re going to make sure voters know it.”
Gibson stopped by the Times-Union's editorial office on Tue., Aug. 14, and did not repudiate a voucher system. He says he voted to fund a Medicare extension last year, and to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." “This is a vehicle that Democrats and Republicans will work for, and it begins the conversation on health care,” Gibson said. “We’re going to have to reach a bipartisan consensus on how we need to do this…it’s been accentuated again that when we embark on one-party reform of a major program, we’re going to have issues questioning its legitimacy going forward…One of the encouraging things about Cooper-LaTourette is it at least gets it started…It lacks in robust details, but it commits to an accountable care approach that which is a way of addressing the fraud, waste and abuse, it commits to more usage of discount drugs — so at least it’s a start where we can get Republicans and Democrats together at the table.”See the full story in Capitol Confidential.