Tipton, Pace trade jabs on Medicare

Scott Tipton’s first television ad of the 2012 campaign hits his opponent, Sal Pace, on Democratic plans for Medicare. Both parties have charged that the other will hurt the government health-insurance program for seniors. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of VoteTipton.com

Scott Tipton’s first television ad of the 2012 campaign hits his opponent, Sal Pace, on Democratic plans for Medicare. Both parties have charged that the other will hurt the government health-insurance program for seniors.

Rep. Scott Tipton is running his first television ad of the 2012 campaign, a spot that targets his Democratic opponent, Sal Pace, on Medicare.

Tipton, R-Cortez, talks about the need to preserve Medicare, the government-run health-insurance program for people older than 65.

“My opponent, Sal Pace, supports Obamacare, which cuts Medicare by over $700 billion. I think that’s wrong,” Tipton says in the ad.

Both parties have been throwing the Medicare charge against each other for the better part of two years.

Tipton’s ad does not mention that he twice voted for Republican budgets that called for the same cuts President Barack Obama used in his health-care law.

According to Politifact, an independent fact-checker, neither Obama nor the Republican budgets cut benefits for Medicare patients. Instead, their plans cut payments to hospitals that have too many readmissions of patients and cut payments to insurance companies that offer extra policies called Medicare Advantage. The savings amount to about $716 billion.

Tipton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney, said the Republicans would use the $700 billion savings for a very different purpose than Obama.

“The plan Congressman Tipton voted for will take that $700 billion and move it into a Medicare trust fund to save Medicare. Sal Pace endorses a plan that raids Medicare of $700 billion to pay for other entitlement programs. That’s a big difference. Sal Pace will defund Medicare while Congressman Tipton will protect it,” Fortney said in an email.

Pace criticized Tipton for voting, in the same Republican budgets, to convert Medicare into a voucher for seniors to buy private insurance.

“Countless seniors across the 3rd district – over 70,000 seniors who call the 3rd district home – like my father, would be devastated by Tipton if they had to buy insurance in the private market. Clearly, this ad is an attempt to draw attention away from those facts,” Pace said in a news release.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

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