Pete Sessions: Obamacare Has Cost Medicare Budget $500 Billion

Thursday, 26 Apr 2012 06:04 PM

By Martin Gould and John Bachman

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The country has to accept that the Medicare budget has lost $500 billion due to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, and figure out a way to work around it, Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions tells Newsmax.TV.

Unless the Supreme Court rules to overturn the law completely the money will not come back, so Republicans have to make sure the public is aware of the situation – and who is to blame – before the November elections.

“We have the responsibility as policymakers in Washington to deal with the law,” the Texas congressman said in an exclusive interview. “Now that we know the $500 billion, by law, is gone, we have to deal with that.

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“We have to find a way to make Medicare work to avoid its bankruptcy,” added Sessions. “Future beneficiaries will have to look at not only making a contribution, but would have a defined process just like an insurance plan, that would tell you what your responsibilities were, but more importantly what the government would pay for.”

Sessions said that 60 percent of all Medicare expenditure is spent in the last two months of a person’s life, and people need to prepare financially for that cost. “We need a more balanced use of our dollars,” he said.

“I don’t know if the choices are difficult or not,” he said. “But they need to be explained to people and then they can supplement as they need to what the government is willing to pay for.

“The government should not pick up every single bit of healthcare to where literally 60 percent of every dollar is just in your last 60 days of life. We should be more balanced than that and give people a chance to understand what the government should and should not pay for.

“It’s just decision making. I don’t think it’s tough.”

Sessions said that Congress has time to get the message across and it is only people under 55 who will have to prepare for change. “We can either say there is no system because it will go bankrupt, or we could begin 15 years out, 12 years out, saying here are the changes that will be necessary to sustain that system.

“Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid that made sure the money was taken out. Now what we have to do is effectively deal with a circumstance where we are. It can be done.”

Sessions’ committee is charged with electing Republicans to the House. He said that despite House Speaker John Boehner’s comment that the Democrats have a “one-in-three” chance of regaining power in November, the GOP will prevail.

“The issues that we are obviously concerned about are jobs – job creation, job growth, increasing not just the opportunity for us to be competitive in the world, but our opportunity to go and make the lives better for all Americans.

“If we successfully sell the idea that hope doesn’t do it but progress does, then we will be allowed to … retain the majority," he said.

Sessions, who represents a district in suburban Dallas, said he is opposed to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposed “Dream Act,” which would provide visas for illegal immigrants who came to the country as young children.

He said likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney was right to distance himself from the plan when he and Rubio campaigned in Pennsylvania this week.

“Sen. Rubio is a very thoughtful, wonderful man, who represents not just the whole process of trying to balance our budget, but that he also comes from a state where it is a big issue,” said Sessions. “There are other alternatives that might be better for us as a country to not just aim for but to achieve.

“Let me be honest, the American people need to be behind the solution that Mitt Romney and Republicans push and I believe there are better answers.”

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