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 is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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