Cutting Through the Noise: What I Really Believe

“The ad is not true.”

In the flood of TV ads bombarding us this campaign season, it can be hard for voters to separate fact from fiction and hard truth from fuzzy spin. And recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the veracity of TV ads suggesting that I support massive cuts to Medicare.

So let’s cut through all the clutter and focus on those words: “The ad is not true.” Don’t take my word for it — these are the words printed in the Detroit Free Press, assessing the latest attack ad against me. And when my opponent, Rep. Mike Bishop, aired an ad making dishonest claims about my position on Medicare, the independent fact-checking site PolitiFact assessed the ad and concluded, “We rate it False.”

Anyone seeking to represent you in Congress owes you a full and honest explanation of what’s true and what’s not. So on Medicare, which has been the focus of many of these false ads, here’s what I believe:

First, Medicare and Social Security are pillars of retirement security. They are a promise, and we need to keep that promise to current and future retirees. No one in Congress will work harder than me to keep that promise.

Second, Congress should allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of seniors. When I talk to retirees, almost everyone cites the high cost of medicines as a daily worry. Allowing Medicare to use its buying power to bring down prices would be good for seniors and good for the financial health of the Medicare program. I’m on military insurance, and if my dad and I go to the pharmacy to get the same prescription, his costs far more. Just like the VA can pressure big drug companies to keep prices low, Medicare should too.

Third, despite what you may have heard from these inaccurate attack ads, I do not support “Medicare for All” plans. Most of the folks I talk to agree that we could all use more choice and options in our health care, not fewer. That’s why I support a Medicare buy-in option. This idea stemmed from a small business roundtable I had in Rochester almost a year ago. Allowing employers and employees to access a buy-in to a large program like Medicare will bring down costs, increase choice, and help our small businesses grow. Health care analysts believe such a program could not only give more families access to affordable health care, but it could strengthen the Medicare program by spreading Medicare costs over a younger population.

Healthcare is far too complicated. My opponent and his colleagues in Washington are eager to use that complexity to disguise their record of endangering protections for pre-existing conditions and siding with big drug companies over the constituents they are supposed to serve. So let’s keep it simple: If you see an ad that claims I want to endanger or reduce Medicare, remember: “The ad is not true.”

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