Democrats Demand Heather Wilson and John Sanchez Take Republican Medicare Plan Off the Table

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has released a statement pointing out that GOP Senate candidates John Sanchez and Heather Wilson continue to skirt the public and remain silent on the Republican plan to end Medicare. As the Senate continues budget negotiations, Republican leaders are still demanding that their extreme plan to end Medicare in order to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and big oil companies is included as part of any final deal. Unfortunately, John Sanchez and Heather Wilson are refusing to criticize their party’s attack on Medicare.

“John Sanchez and Heather Wilson are refusing to tell their fellow beltway Republicans to end their campaign to end Medicare,” said Matt Canter, DSCC spokesman. “The extreme Republican plan that ends Medicare to pay for tax breaks for the rich and Big Oil companies is a non-starter.  Instead of kowtowing to the Republican D.C. establishment and big oil executives, John Sanchez and Heather Wilson should finally stand up for Ohio seniors and abandon their party’s plan to end Medicare.”

Using an online petition launched by the DSCC last week, nearly 40,000 online activists have called on John Sanchez and Heather Wilson to finally stand up for New Mexico seniors by telling GOP leaders to take their extreme plan to end Medicare off the table in the ongoing budget talks. According to the DSCC the petition effort is part of a larger online push to mobilize thousands of online activists against the Republican plan to end Medicare, a push that includes a series of online ads specifically designed to reach New Mexicans.

While poll after poll shows the vast majority of voters think the GOP Medicare plan is a non-starter, GOP leaders in Washington are pressuring Republican candidates to fall in line and publicly reaffirm their support for the extreme plan. Just last week, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on all Republican Senate candidates, including John Sanchez and Heather Wilson, to officially endorse the GOP budget plan.

According to congressional reports, the typical New Mexico senior would pay $4,755 more in out-of-pocket health care costs under the Republican plan. It would take away $4.5 billion in health care funding for seniors and persons with disabilities in New Mexico. And the Republican plan would force more than 21,400 New Mexico seniors to pay an extra $12 million for prescriptions in 2012 alone.

  • The Republican plan to end Medicare will increase out-of-pocket health care costs for a typical 65 year-old New Mexico senior by $4,755 in 2022 –- more than double the cost under current law.  [DPCC Fact Sheet]
  • In New Mexico, more than 21,400 seniors would pay $12 million more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone under the Republican plan.  [DPCC Fact Sheet]
  • In New Mexico, the Republican plan could cut $4.5 billion in federal health care funding for seniors and the disabled through Medicaid, including life-saving nursing home care.  [DPCC Fact Sheet]

GOP Candidates Run, Duck, and Cover on Republican Medicare Plan

While Democrats stand up to protect Medicare, GOP Senate candidates Heather Wilson and John Sanchez continue ducking questions about their position on the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare despite the fact that the Senate voted on the plan weeks ago, and the House did months ago. In poll after poll voters are rejecting the Republican plan.

Heather Wilson and John Sanchez on the Paul Ryan Medicare plan:

  • “Neither Of The Top Republican Contenders Have Rushed To Thoroughly Embrace The Ryan Plan — But Neither Joined The Democrats In Bashing It.” [Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/30/11]
  • John Sanchez: Budget is a “Very Good Start.” Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, in an email statement, said, “I haven’t seen a perfect budget solution yet, but Paul Ryan’s is a very good start. We must rein in government spending. It is immoral to spend money we don’t have.” He declined to state what he would have preferred to see in the plan. [Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/30/11]
  • Heather Wilson: I Give Ryan “A Lot of Credit.” Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, when asked about the plan, said, “The greatest threat to seniors is to do nothing to save it, which is the Democratic plan. … I don’t agree with everything in the Ryan plan, but I give him a lot of credit for trying to have a serious debate about saving Medicare. Democrats have not offered one single idea to save Medicare.” [Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/30/11]
  • National Journal: Both Wilson and Sanchez Campaigns in New Mexico Refused to Comment on GOP Budget. “In New Mexico, the campaign of former Rep. Heather Wilson did not comment when asked by Hotline On Call where she stood. Wilson’s main GOP opponent, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, when pressed in an interview Tuesday over whether he would vote for the measure, declined to commit to a yes or no vote.” [National Journal, 5/26/11]
  • Heather Wilson Refused To Say Whether She Would Have Supported The Republican Budget. In May 2011, Bloomberg News reported that Wilson has refused to say whether she would have supported the Republican proposal to replace Medicare with a subsidy helping senior citizens buy private health insurance if she was in office. [Bloomberg News, 5/27/11]
  • Heather Wilson “Praised The Ryan Budget Plan, While Not Embracing All Aspects Of The Medicare Proposal.” In May 2011, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported that in a meeting with the paper’s editorial board, Wilson “praised the Ryan budget plan, while not embracing all aspects of the Medicare proposal.” Las Cruces Sun-News, 5/28/11]

There’s more information on how to stop the GOP from ending Medicare at DontEndMedicare.com

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