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A House Republican from West Virginia wants his constituents to know he voted against the GOP budget. Not just because of its radical Medicare overhaul — it proposes to phase out the program and replace it with a subsidized private insurance system — but because it also proposes to preserve Medicare cuts Democrats backed to help pay for the health care law.
In mailers to constituents, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) echoes Democrats‘ concerns about the House GOP budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).“Congressman McKinley recently voted against the 2012 budget passed by the House because of the plan’s negative impact on northern West Virginia seniors,” the mailers read. “The plan would privatize Medicare for future retirees, raise the retirement age and keep in place the Medicare cuts included in last year’s healthcare bill. The Congressional Budget Office determined the plan would nearly double out-of-pocket healthcare costs for future retirees.”
All true, but dramatically out of step with his party, in an election that will hinge to a great extent on the parties’ visions of the federal safety net.
The health care law’s Medicare savings were wrung from providers. The largest single source of savings were excessive payments to private insurers participating in Medicare Advantage. Republicans have viciously attacked Democrats for those Medicare cuts — while simultaneously voting to keep them, while phasing out the program over many years. McKinley takes issue with both policies.
The mailers are reprinted below:
They were first reported by the LA Times. But a Democratic source passed on the hard copies, and noted that McKinley doesn’t represent a closely divided district and isn’t in danger of losing his seat.
McKinley’s office was not available for comment Wednesday evening, but one of his spokespeople told the Times, “He is standing for what he believes in.”