Before Bush Visit, NH Legislators Call on Bass, Bradley to Object to Medicare Cuts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: NH Dem Party

BEFORE BUSH VISIT, NH LEGISLATORS CALL ON BASS, BRADLEY TO JOIN MODERATE REPUBLICANS RESISTING MEDICARE CUTS

CONCORD, NH - The day before President Bush's visit to New Hampshire, New Hampshire legislators today called on Congressmen Bass and Bradley to join with moderate Republicans like Maine Senator Olympia Snowe in objecting to the deep cuts Bush is proposing for Medicare.

"Congressman Bass and Congressman Bradley need to decide whether they stand with New Hampshire, or with President Bush and his deep Medicare cuts," said Sylvia Larsen, Democratic Leader in the New Hampshire State Senate. "There's a good reason why our own NH Sen. Gregg described the Bush budget as a 'heavy lift', because it causes a real burden on New Hampshire's growing population of elderly citizens."

"George Bush's rhetoric about cutting deficits have been proven false after five years in office and the biggest deficits in United State history. The fact is, this budget makes huge cuts to the Medicare that all seniors rely on, and then gives away billions to HMOs and extends tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. If our congressmen have a backbone between them, they will stand up for our state before the President's visit tomorrow."

Bush unveiled his budget yesterday and will speak in Manchester on Wednesday to promote it, including his $36 billion cut to Medicare. In New Hampshire, 179,564 people rely on Medicare, which serves virtually everyone over the age of 65. Echoing other moderates in Washington, Republican Senator Olympia Snowe said that she was "disappointed and even surprised" at the deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

But Congressman Bass and Congressman Bradley have refused to take a position on the cuts.

The Bush budget unveiled Monday slashes Medicare by $36 billion over the next five years and $105 billion over the next ten years. These cuts include cuts in payments to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, ambulance services, and other providers and increases in Medicare premiums for certain beneficiaries. At the same time that the budget slashes Medicare funding, it protects the special interests, leaving intact the $10 billion Medicare slush fund for HMOs.