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Tom Cotton Wants to Make Medicare Doubly Dead... Attacks from Two Fronts

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It is not on his website; it is not in his campaign platform. But, do not let this stealth candidate fool anyone: Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R-AR) really wants to kill Medicare. So much so, that he attacks it on two different fronts.

First, by repeatedly voting to repeal Obamacare, he votes to make Medicare become insolvent in 2016, as it was destined to do.

Solvency is greatly improved from the insolvency date that was projected before enactment of the Affordable Care Act . This legislation improved Medicare's financing by reducing the rate of increase in provider payments, phasing out overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, and increasing Medicare payroll taxes for high-income individuals and couples. Repealing the Affordable Care Act, would move up the insolvency date to 2016. [Emphasis Added].

By contrast, Obamacare extends Medicare's solvency to at least 2026, an additional decade.

But, that was not enough for this anti-Medicare warrior. Cotton also voted for the Ryan budget that scraps Medicare's guaranteed benefits and replaces them with vouchers for seniors to purchase health insurance on exchanges. (Vouchers... exchanges... hmmm, sound like anything you know that Cotton voted to repeal?)

Of course, killing Medicare would only partially satisfy Cotton. He would like to see the demise of Medicaid, and he has a two-pronged attack against that as well. Repealing Obamacare would throw more than 100,000 Arkansans off of Medicaid for which they are now qualified. This is an vicious attack on the working poor.

Then, for his double-whammy against Medicaid, Cotton votes to "block grant" Medicaid to the states. Sounds benign, doesn't it? Who would object to getting a "grant" in a big "block"?

The "block grants" he voted for are cleverly designed to decrease in value over time -- just like the Ryan vouchers he voted to replace Medicare.

Think of that. Of the ~74 million children in the United States, ~43 million are covered by Medicaid.

That is not all. About 60 percent of nursing home costs for the elderly are covered by Medicaid. Yes, Medicaid, not Medicare.

So Tom Cotton not only wants to reduce seniors' health care coverage when they are ill but not infirm, and then follows that up with a "sorry, too damned bad" when they need nursing home attention.

Of course, he will never, ever, say that that is what he wants to do. Heavens, no.

But, if it were up to Tom Cotton, Medicare would be doubly dead.

All his sweet words are not going to provide a single medication, a single doctor's visit, a single surgical procedure or a single night in a nursing home for our nation's senior citizens.