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Congressman Daines Prioritizes Himself, Corporations over Montana Seniors


Congressman Daines Prioritizes Himself, Corporations over Montana Seniors
 
Daines has Chosen Photo-Ops and Empty Rhetoric, over Protecting Medicare, Social Security
 
(Helena, MT) - Today, Amanda Curtis unveiled her plan to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for Montana’s seniors and future generations. The same cannot be said for Congressman Steve Daines, who has worked to turn Medicare into a voucher system, increasing out-of-pocket costs for Montana seniors.

Daines has a good start on his plan to balance the budget on the backs of Montana seniors.  Daines voted twice to turn Medicare into a voucher program while giving tax cuts to himself and corporations that ship jobs overseas. Daines has appeared in a photo-op at a Meals on Wheels event after voting to defund the anti-hunger program. 

Congressman Daines has shown time and time again that he is no friend of Montana seniors.   A quick look at his short voting record in Congress demonstrates that his priorities are to tax-cuts for his millionaire friends while making it hard for Montana seniors to make ends meet,” said Bryan Watt, a Montana Democratic Party spokesperson. "It's time to send Congressman Daines to the congressional retirement home." 

Both AARP and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare have slammed the budget proposal Daines voted twice for, saying it would end traditional Medicare, make it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors, and increase health care costs for both current and future retirees. 
 
Daines Voted Against Montana Seniors: 
  • Daines Voted Twice to Medicare into a Voucher System, Seniors Could Be Forced to Pay Higher Premiums.  In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that would implement a “premium support” system. The “premium support” proposal could significantly increase Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs because the defined contribution amount would not keep pace over time with the cost of care. Those who remain in the traditional program could also be forced to pay higher premiums-an additional 50 percent.  [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13]
     
  • Daines Voted to Increase the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that would raise the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries and leave many 65 and 66 year olds without health coverage. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13]
     
  • Daines Voted to Cut Billions From Medicare. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that cut billions in funding from Medicare. The 2013 proposal cut Medicare spending by $356 billion and the 2014 proposal cut Medicare by $129 billion. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13
     
  • Daines Voted to Increase Prescription Drug Costs by as much as $1,700. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that repeals the Medicare benefit improvemetns under the health care law and reopens the prescription drug donut hole-the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage that many seniors experienced once their annual drug costs exceeded $2,840. Under the Paul Ryan budget, seniors could pay as much as $1700 more for prescription drugs. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,  4/08/143/15/13, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, September 2012]
     
  • Daines Voted to Slash Funding for Meals on Wheels, Senior Centers, Family Caregiver Support. In 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that slashes funding for programs like Meals on Wheels, family caregiver support, job training, senior centers and disease prevention programs would suffer significant cuts when the need for these services is increase. Over time, these programs-which are NOT contributing to the federal budget deficit-would be cut by 22 percent below current levels. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; National Council on Aging, 4/09/14]   
 
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