SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Congress 2012

August 17, 2012

Tierney and Tisei spar on Medicare

(Continued)

“If Nancy Pelosi had a great idea to save Medicare, I would sit with her to talk about it, or any Democrat, not demonize them,” Tisei said. “Say what you want about Paul Ryan, at least he has the guts to put out his plan. Where’s John Tierney’s plan? Rather than demonize, maybe he should put out his own plan.”

Tisei has been portraying himself as an independent-minded legislator who would work with both parties to break the gridlock in Washington.

“The reason our country is on the brink of disaster is we have poor leadership. Everybody’s an ideologue, nobody works together,” Tisei said yesterday, pointing at Tierney as one of the worst offenders. “I am open-minded, and I’ll do what’s best for the country. I’ll think for myself, not vote in lockstep with Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership.”

Tisei, who has called the Ryan budget “a good starting point,” said he wants to simplify the tax code, lower taxes, and eliminate some loopholes and deductibles. He said he would “look at every single proposal on the table” when it comes to Medicare — the government-run health insurance for people over 65 — to prevent it from going bankrupt.

Tierney, however, noted that the Ryan plan would replace Medicare with a voucher system, giving future generations of seniors a voucher to help them pay for private health insurance. The problem, he said, is the voucher wouldn’t cover the cost, and out-of-pocket expenses for seniors would grow dramatically over time.

“Do we need to save money with the current program? Absolutely,” said Tierney, who added that a lot was done to shed costs in the Affordable Care Act, now known as Obamacare. “Every year, we need to look at ways to keep costs down as much as possible.”

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Congress 2012

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