FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 1996
STATEMENT OF ANN LEWIS
DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER
American families are right to care about protecting Medicare and they’re right to be worried about Bob Dole’s intentions. Just one year ago, Bob Dole explained his vote against the creation of Medicare by saying, "I was there fighting the fight, voting against Medicare one of twelve because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965."
Medicare has worked--despite Bob Dole. For 30 years, Medicare has enabled older Americans to receive the best health care in the world. Then, in 1995, the Dole/Gingrich budget called for drastic cuts of $270 billion in Medicare. The American Hospital Association wrote a letter to Bob Dole saying that his plan represented a "real cut" in hospital payments.
"[R]eductions of that magnitude would result not in a reduction in the rate of growth, but in a real cut. That means per beneficiary spending for hospital care grows less than the rate of inflation." [AHA Letter to Bob Dole, 10/16/95]
The American Nurses Association and the American College of Physicians said the Dole/Gingrich Medicare cuts would reverse 30 years of gains.
"This legislation will reverse the gains in the health status of the elderly that Medicare has achieved in its 30 year history...The budget cuts in this package...do not save or preserve Medicare, they simply shift costs from government to patients and providers." [American College of Physicians, 10/17/95]
President Clinton vetoed that cut and saved Medicare from the Dole/Gingrich Congress. Now Bob Dole is at it again. Experts, economists and even Bob Dole’s own advisor agree that his current risky $548 billion campaign tax scheme would require even deeper Medicare cuts than the Dole/Gingrich budget.
- The Economist: "83% of economists recently surveyed by The Economist magazine said that Dole would have to cut Medicare and defense more in order for his plan to work." [The Economist, 10/5/96]
- Business Week: "Where on earth does he come up with that kind of dough...? From popular programs, such as Medicare and environmental protection. But candidate Dole knows it’s bad politics to admit that now." [Business Week, 8/19/96]
- Republican Senator D’Amato, Dole’s Campaign Steering Co-Chair: "You’re gonna have to look at Medicare... I would never say it if I were him [Dole] until after the election. No way. No way. Absolutely. I mean I’m not running this year so I can say it and tell the truth." [Senator D’Amato on the Don Imus Show, 8/12/96]
Today, the Dole campaign quotes the American Association of Retired Persons and refers to Claude Pepper who was Medicare’s foremost champion. But this week, the AARP said that use of AARP "in this context is grossly unfair to all older Americans who are starving for a real substantive discussion of Medicare’s problems..."
And Frank Pepper, the brother of the late Claude Pepper, recently wrote in a letter to Bob Dole that Claude Pepper "would have strongly rejected your past and current proposals for excessive cuts and detrimental policy changes...to both Medicare and Social Security programs. I have to believe you understand this and find it surprising that you would engender his name to provide some sort of politically expedient cover for the policy changes you are advocating for the Medicare program."
The Pepper family, like other American families, knows that President Clinton is the one who can be counted on to protect Medicare.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.