FACT CHECK: Portman Said It Would Be “Irresponsible” NOT To Cut Medicare

COLUMBUS, OH -- Today Senator Portman’s shadowy Washington backers are out with a new ad falsely claiming that Portman will fight for Medicare, but nothing could be further from the truth: Portman is on video stating that it would be “irresponsible” not to cut Medicare, voted to end Medicare as we know it, and as President Bush’s Budget Director proposed cutting $66 billion from Medicare.

From David Bergstein, Strickland Campaign Spokesman: “The only people in the world who would even try and make such a laughable false claim that Portman is looking out for Medicare are his rich and powerful friends in Washington -- he’s voted to end Medicare as we know it, proposed slashing billions from Medicare as Bush’s Budget Director and even said it would be ‘irresponsible’ not to cut Medicare. That’s why groups like the Alliance for Retired Americans have denounced Portman’s attacks against Medicare and have endorsed Ted Strickland. The truth is that Portman is the ultimate Washington insider who is pushing the agenda of the wealthy and well-connected, while Ohio’s working families and seniors pay the price.”  

See the facts for yourself:

VIDEO: Portman: It Would Be “Irresponsible” NOT to cut Medicare. [Fox Business Network, Cavuto, 6/16/11; YouTube,6/16/11]


Portman Voted For The FY 12 Ryan Budget, Which Would End “Medicare As We Know It.” In 2011, Portman voted for the FY 12 Ryan Budget. According to NPR, “With the federal deficit in their sights, Republicans are preparing a budget proposal that would reportedly trim $4 trillion in government spending over the next decade. How do they do it? Ending Medicare as we know it is a key part. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the man with the plan.” [CQ, 5/25/11, H.Con.Res.34, Vote 77, 5/25/11; NPR, Health Shots,4/4/11]

Portman’s OMB Budget Proposed Cutting $66 Billion In Medicare Over Five Years. “At the same time, Bush's budget request will propose cost curbs on Medicare providers, a cap on subsidy payments to wealthier farmers and an increase to $4,600 in the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students. […] Portman said Bush's budget submission contains about a 1 percentage point cut in the rapid growth in Medicare which averages almost 8 percent a year without changes to squeeze about $66 billion in savings over five years from the federal health care program for the elderly.” [Associated Press,2/2/07]

Portman Voted Against Budget Deal Preventing A 52 Percent Spike In Medicare Part B Premiums. In October 2015, Portman voted against a budget deal preventing, among other things, a 52 percent premium increase for Medicare Part B. According to U.S. News & World Report, “About 16 million Medicare beneficiaries were facing an unprecedented 52 percent increase next year in their premiums for Part B, which pays for physician services. The budget deal worked out by the White House and Congress held that to a more manageable 15 percent increase.” The motion was agreed to, 64-35. [CQ,10/30/15; H.R. 1314, Vote 294,10/30/15; U.S. News & World Report,10/29/15]


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