U.S. Congressman Scott Rigell | In The News
June  2011 Click here if you have trouble viewing this email
U.S. Representative Scott Rigell
An Open and Honest Discussion about Medicare


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Friends and neighbors,

Aware of your interest in Medicare and other health care issues, I wanted to discuss with you recent efforts in Congress to strengthen Medicare and ensure that it remains solvent for our generation and in the years ahead.

As you are probably aware, there has been a lot of misinformation coming out of Washington about the state of Medicare. This includes accusations that Republicans are trying to end Medicare and short-change those who rely on this important program. This really couldn’t be further from the truth and, in fact, I am working to strengthen Medicare to ensure its survival.

The truth is undeniable: according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund -- the fund that pays the Medicare bills -- is projected to become exhausted in 2020. We can debate about what should be done to fix this, but there is no debate over what lies ahead if nothing is done. If we don’t address this now, together, Medicare really will end. If anyone else tells you differently they are not facing reality.

We have a deep moral obligation to our seniors to ensure they receive quality, affordable health care. We have an equal obligation to our children to pass on an America rich in opportunity and free from the bonds of debt. That is why resolving this problem is one of my top priorities.

I recently supported H. Con. Res 34, sponsored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which provides a budget blueprint including solutions to the funding shortfalls that threaten Medicare. Also known as the Path to Prosperity, this plan accelerates job creation, and meets America’s obligation to our seniors, children, and my generation as well. It passed the House on April 15 but was rejected by the U.S. Senate.

I would like to share with you the facts about Medicare and the Path to Prosperity plan:

Fact: Under the Path to Prosperity, there are no changes to Medicare for anyone 55 and older; those 54 and younger would receive the same kind of healthcare options now enjoyed by Members of Congress.

Fact: If we do nothing, Medicare as we know it will end. The CBO says that the Medicare trust fund is projected to be ZERO in just nine years.

Fact: With the Path to Prosperity, Medicare would provide guaranteed and personalized health coverage for seniors and give greater support to low-income seniors and those with greater health challenges. Currently, many of today’s Medicare patients are being denied the care and personal choice they deserve. One in three primary doctors limits how many Medicare patients they see.

The essence of leadership is to provide a clear path forward. The true test of leadership is the willingness to listen to others and solicit ideas to make the plan better. We can debate what should be done to save Medicare, but there is no debate over what lies ahead if inaction prevails: a program that is vitally essential for the health of thousands of Virginia’s seniors will be gone.

Thank you for your time and for the opportunity to provide you with the facts about Medicare and what Congress is doing to address this issue.

Mindful that I work for you, I remain

Yours in Freedom,
Scott Rigell

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