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Candidates like to say that their opponent is trying to destroy Medicare, the health care program best known for servicing seniors. Candidates also like to claim that their opponent has attacked them unfairly.
Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat, has expressed outrage that Rob Cornilles, the Republican, has picked up a favorite talking point of Republicans across the country: That Democrats favored a $500 billion cut to Medicare by supporting President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
"My opponent on day one of this campaign attacked me on Medicare and Medicare Advantage and that claim was found to be False," she said in last week’s televised debate for the Jan. 31 1st Congressional District special election.
Cornilles did make this claim against her in his Nov. 8 speech, the day after winning the special primary election: "Sen. Bonamici says she supports the $500 billion cut to Medicare passed last year."
PolitiFact Oregon found the statement False, because the $500 billion is a reduction in future spending. In other words, those dollars aren’t taken out of the current budget, they are not actual cuts and the bill does not actually eliminate any current benefits.
Democrats like to attack Republicans on Medicare as well and scare seniors, so they’re not angels either. But in this instance, Bonamici is correct. Cornilles made the claim the day after he won the special primary election and PolitiFact Oregon ruled the statement False.
We rule her statement True.
KGW/The Oregonian 1st Congressional District debate (video), Jan. 10, 2012
PolitiFact Oregon, "Another look at a favorite Republican talking point," Nov. 14, 2011
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