Pam Gulleson Claims North Dakota Seniors Won’t Have Access To Medicare Under Ryan Budget Plan


Today Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, released a new budget that would reduce spending growth as projected by the Obama budget by $5.3 trillion. A lot of that cost reduction comes from a re-working of Medicare.

Here’s how James Pethokoukis describes the changes:

Where Obamacare relies on unelected bureaucrats to keep costs down, the Ryan path uses competition. Under Ryan’s revised “premium support” plan—essentially the Wyden-Ryan proposal—seniors beginning in 2023 could use their Medicare dollars to choose from a menu of private plans, along with Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service system. Every year there would be a competitive bidding process among all plans to determine the dollar amount of the federal contribution that seniors would use to purchase coverage. (The benefits in the private plans would have to be as least as good as Medicare.) The second least-expensive approved plan, or Medicare, whichever is least expensive, would establish the benchmark that determines the premium support amount.

Seniors who prefer pricier plans would have to pay the difference between the premium subsidy and the monthly premium. Seniors who choose a less expensive plan could pocket the difference. As a backup—and so CBO could score the plan—per capita costs could not exceed nominal GDP growth plus 0.5%.

In short, what seniors get is more choice. Rather than being enrolled in a monolithic health care entitlement program, they’ll be able to take their allotment of those entitlement dollars and choose from among several plans with providers competing with one another for their business. What this means would be better service and lower costs.

But according to North Dakota Democrat House candidate Pam Gulleson, this is a war on seniors or something:

Gulleson said Ryan’s budget would end seniors’ guaranteed access to such entitlement programs that they depend on.

“As a nation, our goal must be to get our unacceptable deficit under control, and that means cutting spending. But it is wrong to do so on the backs of our seniors and middle-class families,” Gulleson said in a statement this morning. “The scheme that Rep. Ryan is proposing – and that Rep. Rick Berg has supported – would end the Medicare guarantee and shift substantial costs onto seniors.”

“That’s not the North Dakota Way,” Gulleson said, referencing Berg’s oft-used slogan. “I call on my Republican opponents to stand with me in publicly opposing this plan as bad for our state. … When I’m in Washington, I’ll vote to protect the Medicare guarantee and stand up for our seniors.”

This isn’t accurate. Seniors would have the same access to Medicare they have now. The difference would be in how they’re served by Medicare. Instead of the status quo, which is a one-size-fits-all program, there will be choices that bring them more value.

I know our Democrat friends like Gulleson like to perpetuate a fairy tale land where America’s entitlement programs aren’t a problem, but unfortunately we live in the real world, and we can’t afford this sort of scare-mongering politics that sacrifice real solutions on the altar of retail politics.

Between Gulleson opposing common sense entitlement reform, and Heidi Heitkamp wanting a balanced budget amendment that would only balance less than a third of the budget, you have to wonder if either of them really want to address the nation’s politics or if they just want to get elected using the same tired old political tropes that candidates have been trotting out for generations.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Camsaure

    Does she support obumacare(the plan that guts medicare)?  It sounds like the same old rhetoric we got from the three idiots for years; “those rascally Republicans are going to kill you old people by taking away your social security and medicare”.

    • Camsaure

      I wonder if she will try the “flannel shirt” ploy like her mentors, the three idiots. But then the metrosexual Taylor might have noticed that the public was catching on to that, so he decided to try the “hat trick” instead. Maybe she will instead come out with a new Easter bonnet like Grandma used to wear to church on Easter.

  • cherz1967

    I have lived in North Dakota most of my life and I’ve yet to figure out what the f&^k they mean when they say “the North Dakota Way”.  Rob any clues?

    • Rob

      I think it means whatever the politician who is saying it wants it to mean at a particular moment.

      It’s a throw-away line.

      • $8194357

        Used to mean “honest and hard working”..
        Not so much anymore,IMO..

    • mowerdude

      “The North Dakota Way”, means out in the field, out in the snow and heavily armed!

  • DopeyDem

    Let’s continue down the road we are traveling with the Democrats under control. No one will have Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security available to them. We will have to travel to Iraq to get adequate medical care. We can all plan on retiring in Afghanistan. I look forward to saving money on gas since I will be forced to drive a camel. Wonder if they will ever have to come out with a real plan of their own and not just accounting gimmicks and stealing from the rich.

  • WOOF

    Ryan and those who follow him are on a suicide mission,
    “Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll released earlier this month, 70
    percent of those surveyed said they wanted the traditional Medicare
    program to remain intact, including 53 percent of Republicans”

    • Gern Blanston

      Well, there you have it. It doesn’t matter if it’s broken, or if we can’t afford it. Keep the status quo.

  • Jean

    As Reagan would say, “there you go again.”  yep, the Democrats are trying to scare the old people.  Don’t they realize we aren’t stupid and can see right through their lieing and schemeing?  I’m 80 years old and know when they try to pull the wool over my eyes.

  • Dakotacyr

    What she said is true.  the Republicans are trying to scam old people in to thinking this is a great deal. 

    • Jean

      I guess you can’t read.  The Democrats are the ones who are always trying to scare the old people, but we are smarter than you think and that is old talk and we don’t believe you anymore.

      • Dakotacyr

        Right, and you get to keep your Medicare as it is right now so you got yours.

    • ndoldman

      and the moon is made of green cheese, I have some in my fridge  classic dem BS scare old people and disabled, however the dictator -in-chief threatend elderly already to cut bennies … carring and marxiist of him.

      • $8194357

        And don’t forget the evil conservitives hate women and minorities and science and , and…Well you lived thru it…You know…..Everything their ideogies end up doing they blame on Christians and conservitives….Same old line to a new generation…

        • Dakotacyr

          And it’s still true.

          • $8194357

            Only to brain dead leftist zombies like you..
            Hell I haven;t beat a woman, harrased a homo sexual or scared a poor minority in so long I must of forgot how…Maybe its because I was to “busy” chasin paychecks and paying my taxes so others could scam the system off my labors, huh, lefty?
            One of theses days soon tho…A good old fashionned book burning and right wing rightous hate mongering is in order for those of us who forgot how bad our conservitive moral values selves really are…
            I wonder if Rosie would mind we picket her gay cruise or something like the OWS folks do?
            Mean while back at the leftist plantation its buisness as usual scaring folks into giving the “state” more power and loss of liberties to protect them from those “limited government” Constituionalists….

          • Dakotacyr

            Huh?  Do you even read what you write?  You are being silly now.

          • $8194357

            Well what do you expect from an “un-enlightened bigoted flat earther”, cyr?
            Ya all pigion holed us so long ago why get upset when we use your rhetoric our selves?

            Is that just plain silly to you because your revisionist understandings of your own politicaly correct ideological root systems are so confused with what you were miss-informed about Constituionalist conservitives ideologies?
            You know not where your own come from but believe what youve been indoctrinated into understanding about the right…
            Leftist ass apoligist useful idiot lemming…

    • Gern Blanston

      Oh? And what is the Liberals’ plan?

  • Ratbite

    Gee she’s LYING. What’s news worthy about a Marxist Democrat LYING?? It’s their normal state. They can not tell the truth cuz the folks will not buy their Marxist Socialism/COMMUNISM.

    • Jean

      sorry, I misspelled lying.  Can you forgive an 80 yr old?

      • WOOF

        After 15 years of socialized medicine Jean. you’re looking forward to:

        “Every year there would be a competitive bidding process among all plans
        to determine the dollar amount of the federal contribution that seniors
        would use to purchase coverage. ”

        “benefits in the private plans would have to be as least as good as
        Medicare.) The second least-expensive approved plan, or Medicare,”
        Want to choose each year?

        You think this will be good for you?
        When you reached medicare age did you breathe a sigh of relief ?

      • Jean

        Charles Krauthammer, within the last 2 minutes, said that in the new Ryan bill, if a person wants to stay on the Medicare system they have now, they can.  That was one thing that was changed in the bill.  Before, you could not.  He also said anyone claiming otherwise was lying.

        • Dakotacyr

          What Charles didn’t tell you Jean, is the the private insurance are going to cherry pick the healthy people and leave the sick people in Medicare. And who will pay for all those sick people left in the system? What does Krauthammer say about that? Crickets!

          • Dakotacyr

            Oh, and Jean, do you have private nursing home insurance?

          • Jean

            I have been diabetic since nursing home insurance came out and not one company will cover me.

        • WOOF

          What Krauthammer also did not say is that the idea is to buy your vote by promising to maintain your status, not mentioning leaving your grand kids out in the severely reduced benefits cold.

          • Gern Blanston

            whereas the Dem plan is to do what?

          • Dakotacyr

            to make sure seniors live with dignity and people with disabilities live with dignity.

          • $8194357

            Seems I saw that info mercial propaganda spin some where before right after the false accusation of Republicans wanting granny dead and gone…funny how that works for propaganda self congratulating false morality sake huh, lefty?

          • Jean

            They sure have you brainwashed.  I honestly can’t believe how many of you Democrats are so naive and just suck up everything Obama says no matter if it is true or false.  He changes his mind more than he changes his underwear!

      • $8194357

        I’m not quite 60 and spell way worser than you…I think in the long run…we’re forgiven, Jean…

  • Jay

    That’s a real shocker. Dems as goddamn liars and hypocrites? Who would have thought?

    • $8194357

      Ya…I must of missed that one myself some where along the way…(sarc)

  • mowerdude

    Who the heck cares if we don’t have access to MEDISCAM?
    It’s a worthless piece of crap anyway!!!!!

  • fredlave

    OMG, those horrible Republicans are going to throw Grandma into the snow and cold. Pam is a real Democrat. Scare the sh*t out of the old folks to get elected. What a troll.

    • $8194357

      The stick has been working for decades for them…Pomeroy was a hoot when he would tell the old folks not to worry he was fighting tooth and nail against them conservitives in DC an wouldn’t let them get away with it….Really sad how they and so many others believe that crap…Kind a like Rosie Odonnel and the Christian Taliban who are coming aftyer her and her gay cruises or something…They “believe” the deception as if it were the “Gospel”.

  • exsanguine

    The stupid is strong with this one.

    It doesn’t matter. Mediscam will be a goner by 2022

    • $8194357

      (The stupid is strong with this one.)

      Laughing out loud and seeing both the humor and truth in it…..Ha ha

  • Independent

    The Richest 1% Get $10 Billion A Year From Uncle Sam

    “…The bulk of the taxpayer money going to the richest 1% came from Social Security
    and Medicare, which provide benefits to retirees regardless of their
    Using IRS data, IBD found that the top 1% of income earners claimed
    approximately $7 billion in Social Security benefits in 2009. That year,
    the program paid super-rich seniors — those with adjusted gross incomes
    exceeding $10 million — an average of $33,000 each.
    meanwhile, paid roughly $2.6 billion in health care subsidies for the
    richest 1% of enrollees, based on calculations using Medicare
    enrollment, overall Medicare spending and premium data. (Medicare does
    not track spending by enrollee income.) And if you consider that 5% of
    Medicare enrollees have more than $1 million in savings, the amount
    taxpayers spend to subsidize retiree health benefits skyrockets.
    addition, some studies have found that Medicare has “led to net
    transfers from the poor to the wealthy” — as a paper published by the
    National Bureau of Economic Research put it — because of how it’s
    financed and because the rich tend to live longer than the poor…..”