July 22, 2014

Braley, Lange debate entitlement reform

Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and his Republican challenger, Ben Lange of Independence, today accused one another of engaging in political spin when it comes to the Medicare program.

According to Lange, the “access” senior citizens have to Medicare has been compromised by the current congress.

“The cold hard facts is $716 billion has been taken from Medicare,” Lange said. “And you can spin it. You can cut it. You can put any type of political spin that my opponent wants to put on it, but when you take funding away from it, you are restricting access to senior citizens to their health care benefits.”

Braley responded: “It’s a lie because what we did was we improved the solvency of Medicare by eight years, something that a lot of people care about and Ben has talked about his father being Medicare-eligible. You would think his father would be pleased with the fact that ObamaCare extended the solvency of the program.”

Another topic of disagreement was over Social Security. Lange said he’s “not afraid” to talk about changes in Social Security.

“Where individuals can choose,”Lange said. “If they want to have the same Social Security plan that they have paid into or if they want to have alternative paths, the difference is we’re allowing consumers to choose the best way to plan for their retirement.” Lange said.

Braley replied: “What he just told you is he wants people to have a choice between contributing to Social Security or contributing to a risky private investment scheme.”

Braley called the proposal “radical.” Lange accused Braley of “demagoguery.”

The candidates made their comments today during a noon-hour debate on Iowa Public Radio.