Castor continues to hammer away at GOP/Ryan plan for Medicare

"I'm very concerned about IPAB, " the Congresswoman replied when asked if in fact she had signed on to a bill that would repeal that board. She said her support for repeal had to be viewed in the context of Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Legislature "who really took a whack at Medicaid this year," referring to that legislation that will put many who have been on the program into managed care programs. She also referred to the fact that no state has more vulnerable seniors. And she called the IPAB simply "too undefined," and a delegation of authority "that I'm not willing to make." She said it seemed to be driven by meeting a budget figure and not about improving patient care. Castor also referenced how the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has also came out in opposition to IPAB.

Castor has distinguished herself from other Democrats by enthusiastically stating that she believes debt and deficit reduction is crucial, and that everything needs to be on the proverbial table. CL asked her in the call if that includes Medicare, as Democrats have been criticized for blasting the Ryan plan without offering anything remotely looking like a plan of their own to address the entitlement program's potential insolvency.

As she has done in the past, Castor referenced little known provisions of the health care reform bill that she says contains measures that are designed to draw down such costs. Those include a new requirement for hospitals that when they release patients from hospitals that they not be readmitted within days, something she calls a "huge cost driver," and electronic health records that will help save money in the program.

Castor's conference call comes just hours after it was reported that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans an online campaign to continue on the attack against the three men running for the U.S. senate race, Mike Haridopolos, Adam Hasner and George LeMieux for their support for the Ryan plan (though we thought Haridopolos ultimately came against it - not sure where he left that).


Tampa area Congresswoman Kathy Castor has been as relentless a critic as any Democrat in the country in bashing the Paul Ryan led GOP House budget plan that would end Medicare as its currently constituted and turn it into a voucher program.

She still feels that way, as she referenced a new report on Wednesday produced by Democratic staffers from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would negatively affect those people 54 years of age and younger currently living in the Tampa Bay area.

However, she did confirm that she is no longer supporting what up to now has been a Democratic talking point when charged that they have no solution on how to reduce Medicare costs - the 15 member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) - created by the federal health care reform bill that would be charged with the task of controlling Medicare spending.

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