Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby, Republican Freshmen Calling on President Obama to End "MediSCARE" Tactics

May 24, 2011
Press Release

Representative Martha Roby along with her freshman colleagues, called on the President to keep his commitment made at the 2010 Republican Retreat in Baltimore to have a fact-based conversation immediately over reforming spending on entitlement programs and addressing the debt crisis now before it is insurmountable. During the retreat, the President said, “These are serious times, and what’s required by all of us -- Democrats and Republicans -- is to do what’s right for our country, even if it’s not always what’s best for our politics.  At what point can we have a serious conversation about Medicare and its long-term liability in which we’re not simply trying to position ourselves politically?”

These Freshmen members collectively believe the President must be held accountable for his own public comments and needs to stand above the typical Washington partisan antics. Roby believes Congress must focus on Medicare reform, instead of false political attacks.

Below is the letter Roby and her Republican colleagues sent to the President.

 

May 3, 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Last November, our country spoke loud and clear.  The American people are demanding solutions from Washington and asking that bold and decisive action be taken to prevent another financial crisis. 

At present, America’s vital entitlement programs are in their last years of solvency.  It is high time both parties come together to have a commonsense conversation to prevent the collapse of institutions on which millions of seniors rely on and save Medicare for our children and grandchildren.  Inaction will mean Medicare becomes bankrupt and the reality that our generation may be the first in American history to leave the next worse off. 

Clearly Washington is facing a great deal of challenges, but with these challenges come great opportunity.  We are presented with the opportunity to reset the tone in Washington by ending the partisan bickering.  We have all been guilty, at one time or another, of playing politics with key issues facing our country.  As the freshman class, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and fulfill the mandate set by the people to strengthen our country for future generations – not continue the petty politics we have seen in the past, which only creates an environment of stalemate. 

Surely, we can all see the urgency in issues as important as care for retirees and the nation’s long-term budget.  In 2022, the CBO projects the debt will surpass 90 percent as a share of our economy and by 2025, every tax dollar will be spent paying for entitlements and interest on our debt.  Mr. President, we do not have the luxury of waiting.  History will judge us by whether we worked together to solve our country’s problems or played politics to score points in the next election. 

The Republicans have put forward what you called a “serious proposal” to deal with Medicare spending, which ensures Americans 55 and older will keep their current plans.  Those 54 and younger will receive a list of guaranteed coverage options through Medicare so recipients are able to choose the best plan for their needs, rather than the government choosing for them -- reform based on ideas discussed by President Clinton’s Medicare Commission over a decade ago. A week after its passage, Democrats  began launching what the Chicago Tribune referred to as “Mediscare” attacks against Republicans. We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs. Together, we can deal with the debt crisis now before it is insurmountable.   

Last year, at the Republican retreat in Baltimore, you asked, “At what point can we have a serious conversation about Medicare and its long-term liability…or a serious conversation about budget and debt in which we're not simply trying to position ourselves politically?”  You went on to say we cannot start these discussions by framing “who's to blame,” who is "trying to hurt our senior citizens" or “how can we make the American people afraid of the other side.”  During the question and answer portion of the retreat, you honorably noted that these conversations are what you are “committed to doing.”  Mr. President, these were your words and now is the time to act. 

As new members of Congress, we are committed to having a fact-based conversation immediately.  Our mission must be about the next generation, not the next election – this is something we cannot lose sight of.

Will you join us to stop the political rhetoric, work to advance America’s interests, and end this cycle of debt, deficits and indecision?

Sincerely,

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-11)
Rep. Diane Black (TN-6)
Rep. Robert Dold (IL- 10)
Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-4)
Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-2)
Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1)
Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-12)
Rep. Bobby Schilling (IL-17)
Rep. Todd Young (IN-9)
Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-1)
Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-7)
Rep. James Lankford (OK-5)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX 27)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4)
Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-1)
Rep. Tim Scott (SC-1)
Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-4)
Rep. Joe Walsh(IL-8)
Rep. Sandy Adams (FL-24)
Rep. Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
Rep. Reid Ribble (WI-8)
Rep. Martha Roby (AL-2)
Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-2)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)

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