Campaign 2010

Oct 16, 2011

FACT CHECK: Pete Sessions Falsely Claims Republican Budget Doesn’t Hurt Current Seniors

On C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (TX-32) not only claimed that the House Republican Medicare plan benefits seniors, but that “no one that is today 55-years or above would have any changes to Medicare.”


In reality, the Republican budget would reopen the prescription drug donut hole for existing seniors, costing the four million seniors who fall into the coverage gap $2.2 billion next year alone. Ryan’s budget would also cut funding for the nearly 1 million long-term care patients currently relying on Medicaid. The National Journal wrote “Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn’t affect anybody near retirement age. But it would.”




Republican Plan Would Affect Current Seniors. “Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn’t affect anybody near retirement age. But it would. Republicans are convinced that burnishing the public’s view of their unpopular proposal to overhaul Medicare depends on assuring today’s seniors that they won’t be affected […] There’s only one problem with the strategy: It’s not true. The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program.” [National Journal, 6/2/11]


The Republican Budget Will Force Nearly Four Million Seniors To Pay An Additional $2.2 Billion For Prescription Drugs Next Year Alone. “The Republican-passed budget will force nearly four million seniors to pay an additional $2.2 BILLION for prescription drugs next year alone.” According to the Associated Press, “The coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit would be brought back.” [DPCC, 4/21/11; Associated Plan, 4/6/11]


Wall Street Journal: The House Republican Budget for 2012 Would “Essentially End Medicare.” “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]


CBO: Elderly People Would Pay More for Health Care Under the Republican Plan. According to the CBO, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.” [CBO, 4/5/11]


Republican Budget Would Almost Double Healthcare Costs For Seniors. “The Republican congressman's proposal to privatize Medicare would mean a dramatic hike in U.S. healthcare costs for the elderly, an independent analysis finds. Seniors would pay almost double — more than $12,510 a year.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11]


FactCheck.Org: Ryan Plan Would Reinstate “Doughnut Hole.” According to, in May 2011, “Ryan’s budget plan does indeed reinstate the so-called ‘doughnut hole,’ a gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said: ‘The proposal would repeal the provisions that created the Independent Payment Advisory Board and that expanded subsidies for the “coverage gap” in Part D (a range of spending in which many enrollees have to pay all of their drug costs, sometimes called the doughnut hole).’” [, 5/6/11]