Candidates Discuss Medicare | VideoJessica Roose | 8/1/2012
"She thought it was awful expensive, but then she got in the hospital with a kidney problem and Medicare insurance paid pretty much the whole bill."
Which is why she signed up for the program last fall. Now that she`s enrolled, she is concerned about where the program is heading. U.S. House candidate Pam Gulleson says it`s critical that cuts are not made to Medicare as a way to balance the budget.
"These people spent a lifetime of working and contributing. Remember this is a program that we contribute to. It should be there for their benefit when they retire."
She is concerned that the House previously passed a budget sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which she says would replace Medicare with a more expensive voucher system. Her opponent Kevin Cramer says that`s not the case and that the vouchers would only be another option to those who choose it and that something needs to be done to save the program.
"It will be insolvent if we don`t do something. It also highlights the fact that we have to repeal Obamacare. I mean Obamacare by its very admission cut a half a trillion from Medicare for our seniors."
He says politics should be left out of the issue, and both Democrats and Republicans need to come together to create a plan for the program. Both Cramer and Gulleson agree that more needs to be done to encourage preventative care, which they say would reduce hospitalization and lower costs to the program.
This week marks the 47th anniversary of both Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.