Louisiana GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy ripped into Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare plan Wednesday, saying it would continue plunging the program further into debt and bringing it closer to complete collapse.
“Medicare has gone bankrupt in 17 years,” Cassidy said on MSNBC. “If we are going to say to those seniors who right now are facing a system which cannot pay for the care they are scheduled to receive, that we are going to add 120 million more people, reminds me a lot that no one’s going to lose their doctor and premiums are going to decrease by $2,500. It’s just not going to happen.”
The senator said that Sanders’ plan can’t add millions more to the Medicare rolls and still expect costs to go down. In fact, Cassidy said, the system is already becoming insolvent even without Sanders’ proposed expansion.
“You can’t add 100 million people to a system going bankrupt. We think ours is a better way. Ours is paid for. It gives the patient the power, it is sustainable,” Cassidy said. When asked if his plan addressed rising drug costs, he said it was a “separate issue,” adding the single payer plan wouldn’t be able to address it either.
“That’s a totally separate issue. And absolutely we have to address the skyrocketing costs of pharmaceuticals,” he said. “I’m all about giving the patient the power, I am a doctor. And that’s one way to do it, but in terms of health care that’s a separate issue.”
Cassidy explained how his plan would take money originally allocated to states under Obamacare and remove the “strings” so they can make their own fiscal decisions on health care.
“We take the dollars that Obamacare would allocate to states, and instead of giving it to the states with lots of strings attached, we give it to the states for them to design a system that works for their state. Alaska is different than Rhode Island. Louisiana from New York. Allow those states, they can only spend it on health care, but allow them to come up with a system,” Cassidy said. “Blue and red states, they all say they can do it better than Washington, D.C. We give them that opportunity.”
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