In first 2014 attack, congressional fund targets Democrats on Medicare

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The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is targeting 11 incumbent Democrats for potential cuts to Medicare Advantage, a popular Medicare program, in press releases sent to their districts.

“We are now seeing the real-life consequences of Congressman Rahall and President Obama cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare,” Conston says in the release going to Rep. Nick Rahall's (D-W.Va.) district.

“Congressman Rahall owes his constituents an explanation why he supported a law that is making life harder for seniors.”

CLF is sending the release to the districts of Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Ron Barber (Ariz.), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.), Bill Owens (N.Y.), John Barrow (Ga.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Tim Bishop (N.Y.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Jerry McNerney (Calif.) and John Garamendi (Calif.), all considered to be top Republican targets going into 2014.

Medicare Advantage could undergo "steeper-than-expected" cuts in 2014 to the funding it receives from the government, according to The Associated Press.

The Health and Human Services Department on Friday proposed a 2.2 percent payment cut for Medicare Advantage plans in 2014; the rate will be finalized in April. The rate cuts are due in part to the healthcare reform law passed in 2010.

Medicare and Medicaid have been set largely to the back-burner in recent months, as lawmakers debate government spending and gun control. And since President Obama's reelection, much of the furor over his healthcare overhaul has died down, with calls for repeal of the law largely disappearing.

But this new line of attack indicates Republicans see an opening to tie Democrats, and Obama's healthcare reform law, to cuts to Medicare, never a winning proposition with voters.

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