05/03/2013 05:14 pm ET

Shelley Moore Capito Hails Medicare As 'Tremendous Program' After Voting To Dismantle It

WASHINGTON -- During recent remarks to a local GOP group, Rep. Shelley Moore Capitol (R-W.Va.) hailed Medicare as "a tremendous program" and imagined she would have "many sleepless nights" without it, since her parents rely on it to keep the costs of their prescription drugs down.

What you wouldn't know by Capito's comments, though, is that she voted -- three times -- for the House Republican budget put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which would overhaul Medicare and reopen the prescription drug "donut hole," that would force immediate costs increases onto people like her parents.

Capito, who has been in the House since 2000 and is now running for Senate, made her remarks during a speech to the Greenbrier Republican Party on April 20.

"I've told you already Mom and Dad haven't been feeling so well," she told the group. "But if we didn't have the security as a family of Medicare, I don't know what we would -- we would have so many sleepless nights to try to figure out, 'How are we going to meet the costs of their prescription drugs? How are we gonna meet the costs?'"

The West Virginia congresswoman later defended Ryan's budget in her speech, according to a Democratic source familiar with Capito's full remarks. Video footage of the full speech wasn't readily accessible.

Capito went on to call Medicare "a tremendous program," not just because of the relief it provides to those who rely on it for health care, but also for their family members and others "who are trying to care for their elderly."

A request for comment from Capito's campaign spokesman was not returned.



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