Schneider presses Medicare issuePosted on October 26, 2012
From the Tribune:
Schneider presses Medicare issue in waning days of campaign to unseat Dold
Democrat seeks to refocus North Shore congressional race with TV ad attacking Republican’s votes.
Democratic challenger Brad Schneider sought to refocus a North Shore congressional race on Medicare, airing a new TV ad blasting Republican Rep. Robert Dold for votes to introduce a private insurance component into the program.
Schneider also campaigned with Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to hammer home that message with seniors in the 10th Congressional District.
The new Schneider TV ad shows black-and-white footage of President Lyndon Johnson, who signed Medicare into law in 1965, discussing the program’s promise to give seniors “dignity in their later years.” The ad goes on to display an unflattering photo of a wide-eyed Dold and accuse him of voting to “end the Medicare guarantee,” costing seniors $6,400 per year and funding tax breaks for the wealthy.
The reference is to House Republican budgets proposed by GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, who first proposed to overhaul Medicare to give payments to private insurers, then modified that to leave a more traditional Medicare option while also including payments to private insurers. The $6,400 figure references the additional cost future Medicare users would have incurred by having to use a federal subsidy to buy coverage under Ryan’s original proposal, but the figure does not apply to the second proposal. Neither became law.
A Dold spokesman said Schneider “has no plan of his own to protect or preserve Medicare.” His campaign has tried to parry Schneider’s claims on Medicare with a commercial starring his mother, Judy, denying that he favors cutting the program. Dold, a first-term congressman from Kenilworth, has said he supports the idea of implementing a mix of private insurance and more traditional Medicare coverage, similar to Ryan’s second proposal.
Schneider also brought Durbin, the state’s senior senator, back out to the district. At Max and Benny’s Restaurant in Northbrook, Durbin and a handful of sympathetic onlookers organized by Schneider’s campaign drank coffee and ate cookies, including treats frosted with the Democratic Party’s symbol, a donkey.
Though Schneider attacked Dold’s votes on Medicare, the Democrat offered only broad ideas on how he might keep the program solvent. Schneider said the best way to ensure the program’s sustainability is to reduce the cost of health care by moving to an “outcome-based” system. “There’s not going to be a silver bullet,” said Schneider, a Deerfield management consultant.