Lincoln: I Will Not Support Reform That Hurts America’s Seniors

Washington –As she opposed another Republican amendment today designed to scare seniors and gut commonsense health insurance reform, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) said she will consistently fight to protect Medicare.

Under the guise of “protecting Medicare,” the amendment offered by Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) – who just last week distributed a manual to his colleagues on how to obstruct health insurance reform efforts – would have stripped critical provisions designed to make health insurance more affordable and more widely available. The amendment, which failed, was an attempt to kill any chance for health insurance reform.

“Senate Republicans today took a page from Sen. Gregg’s book on obstructionism when they voted for the Gregg amendment,” Sen. Lincoln said. “And that’s a shame, because every day we waste on the Senate floor with deceptive amendments like the Gregg proposal is another day that 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance and Americans who have insurance have to pay inflated premiums. I wish Senator Gregg would join substantive talks that are aimed at finding a solution.

“Rather than ‘protect Medicare’, the Gregg Amendment would have actually hurt seniors.  I support provisions in the underlying bill that will protect seniors, and extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund for an additional five years. If we do nothing, the Medicare program will be broke in just eight years. This bill will also reduce premiums and co-pays for seniors; ensure seniors can keep their own doctors; cut the billions of dollars of waste, fraud, and abuse that occur annually; provide new prevention and wellness benefits for seniors, lower their prescription drug costs; and help them to stay in their own homes rather than going to nursing homes if that is what they want to do.

“Republicans would rather scrap these important Medicare enhancements for seniors to score political points for the 2010 election.  With a mother who relies on Medicare, I am just not willing to let Republican obstructionism hamper meaningful reform for America’s seniors.”