The following news release was issued Monday by Claire McCaskill's campaign.
Today, on the 47th anniversary of Medicare, which one million Missouri seniors rely on for their health care, but all three Republican Senate candidates have endorsed radical proposals to end Medicare as we know it. Throughout the campaign, Todd Akin, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman have all supported plans that turn Medicare into a voucher program, some of which would eliminate this critical safety net as early as 2014.
“Todd Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman have made it clear that they are willing to eliminate this critical safety net for Missouri’s seniors while fighting to protect Big Oil and mega-millionaires,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “For 47 years, Medicare has protected Missouri’s seniors and provided security for our parents and grandparents. While we work to rein in government spending, we shouldn’t be balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and middle class families.”
At a debate hosted by University of Missouri College Republicans this April, all three candidates voiced support for the extreme Republican budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan that would privatize medicare:
AKIN: We get rid of all of that government price structure and we allow a whole series of people to compete for the business, and there you get more of a free market system going. So this is a good idea. I voted for it. And either version of this, whether you want to do voucher or premium support. They're both good ideas, and I'd support either.
BRUNNER: Again, I’m a very strong believer in choice. When people get involved and have that opportunity with a choice and have that premium support or a voucher type program, they can go out and look for those benefits from the right people at the right cost. Quite possibly by creating a bit competition in the marketplace will tend to go the areas where they get the best service. That will encourage other practitioners in the healthcare field to compete with them so they can offer better service. So the decentralization really does work. So yes, I would support that.
STEELMAN: I think they’re both good idea but I want to put a caveat on that because I want to make sure whether it's premium or vouchers support, keeps pace with the cost of the rising health care cost that we have.
Additionally, Steelman endorsed the radical budget proposed by Rand Paul, who would eliminate the Medicare guarantee by 2014.