Chandler defends his Medicare ads and says Obamacare should be given a chance

10/04/2012 06:22 PM

While Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler voted against the original Affordable Care Act, he said it deserves a chance to be implemented and cut health care costs, which he also said is the best hope for preserving Medicare.

“Let’s see if the Affordable Care Act works … We need to see if it deals with the cost issue,” he said. (8:50 in the interview.)

And he said holding down the cost of health care overall is the way he believes Medicare can be saved even as it continues to add to the debt.

Chandler, in his recent campaign ads, has criticized Republican candidate Andy Barr for supporting a proposal offered by the Republican House budget chairman and vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, that would change Medicare for those who are 55 or younger. It would convert it from its present format as a fee-for-service program to a voucher-like system in which seniors would pay their health care costs and then get reimbursed.

But Chandler’s ads make it sound as if the plan would affect current retirees. He answered questions about whether that was false advertising (starting at 3:30 of the interview).

“I do think, ultimately, it could affect seniors. And I really do believe that. But when you talk about privatizing, you’re getting into a discussion of taking the guaranteed benefit, removing it and putting it on the backs of seniors — future seniors,” he said (4:45). Chandler said he believes cutting health care costs is the key to saving Medicare.

And find out what Chandler believes “is one of the worst statistics I’ve seen in a long time” at 10:00. The interview, which aired Wednesday, starts with a discussion about the coming fiscal cliff that Congress have put off dealing with until after the election:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • waybert17 wrote on October 06, 2012 08:39 AM :

    Sadly, this is a Congressman, like many others in Congress, who didn’t read the bill…and has no real knowledge of the trouble that ObamaCare is going to create. I can think of 5 ways, off hand, that ObamaCare will intentionally harms me, you, and everyone else.

    #1 ObamaCare “robs Peter to pay Paul.” How? Well, if you’re a senior, you’ll be fleeced by the $716 billion in Medicare cuts (which Chandler supported by his vote) designed to substantially fund the ObamaCare plan over the next decade.

    #2 Insurance companies are free to pass on increased costs. Under the new ObamaCare mandates, insurance companies will have free rein to pass on their increased cost to you in the form of: higher premiums, higher co-pays, and higher deductibles. There are no price controls to keep the insurance industry in check. Even AARP, the powerful lobby representing American seniors, has already increased the health insurance premiums of its employees from 8 to 13%.

    #3 Widespread doctor shortage expected. The earning potential of doctors, not to mention the salary of nurses, is expected to dwindle due to lowered payment rates for Medicare, among other things. Up to 40% of physicians could retire or seek a non-clinical or even a non-medical job. And with 30 million more Americans on healthcare insurance plans, not only could there be a medical “brain drain,” but also long drives and long waits to see a doctor.

    #4 Delayed implementation and hundreds of unwritten rules. Shockingly, many of the rules and regulations needed to make healthcare function correctly haven’t even been written yet. And as costs inevitably balloon higher than expected, benefits for consumers are likely to degrade significantly, particularly for seniors, the highest users of healthcare services.

    #5 Unelected government officials will have total control to make decisions about your healthcare. “Healthcare commissars” who don’t have to worry about being elected by the American people will have undemocratic totalitarian powers to cut Medicare spending and make life and death decisions on your behalf as a so-called “Independent Payment Advisory Board.”

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • D.W. wrote on October 07, 2012 03:16 AM :

    “Let’s see if the Affordable Care Act works … We need to see if it deals with the cost issue,” he said. (8:50 in the interview.)
    And he said holding down the cost of health care overall is the way he believes Medicare can be saved even as it continues to add to the debt.”

    This is ridiculous. The way Obamacare is set up is to “save money” by denying treatment – yes, that’ll extend the life of the program – by shortening the lives of the people on it.

    Did Chandler explain how halting the construction of numerous new hospitals is supposed to expand our access to healthcare? How attacking people with Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings accounts helps them get more healthcare? Did he explain how it helps families with special needs children by raising their taxes by putting and outrageously low cap on the amount that can be spent using FSA, essentially outlawing their use to help with paying for special schooling for special needs children? Did he explain how raising the threshold on the amount of high cost healthcare before a tax deduction would kick in (most devasting to lower and middle class Americans, of course) helps people who need medical treatment?

    I could go on and on. This is an absurd defense of Obamacare – Chandler, and all liberal Democrats – should be made to explain how these and other provisions of Obamacare and their devastating consequences will help people get more more affordable healthcare…if they can find healthcare at all.

What do you have to say?


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