Dems to Obama: No to GOP on Medicare

Fifty Senate Democrats on Thursday sent President Obama a letter commending him for his opposition to Republicans' Medicare overhaul and urging him to stay the course as both parties negotiate an increase in the debt ceiling.

"The Republican budget proposal would not keep pace with the rate of inflation for health care, meaning seniors would pay ever higher out-of-pocket costs," the letter reads. "Under the proposal, the annual increase for the vouchers will fall short of the actual rate of inflation for health care — meaning out-of-pocket expenses for seniors will continue to soar. And to make matters worse, the Republican budget would repeal the only credible means of restraining health care costs — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"While deficit reduction is essential, balancing the budget by dismantling Medicare is both unfair to hard-working Americans and counterproductive." 

The letter was spearheaded by Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (D-Ohio). 

"We urge you to protect America's seniors and oppose any attempts to dismantle Medicare," it concludes.

Missing from the list of signers are Sens. Tom CarperTom CarperDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Overnight Energy: Lawmakers challenge Trump's proposed EPA cuts Overnight Energy: Tillerson maintains support for Paris deal despite Trump decision MORE (Del.), Carl LevinCarl LevinTrump's crush on foreign autocrats threatens democracy at home OPINION: Congress must press forward with its Russia investigation Democrats and Republicans share blame in rewriting the role of the Senate MORE (Mich.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Brown sent House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorWhat to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes MORE (R-Va.) a copy of the missive with a cover letter warning him that the GOP proposal to replace Medicare with subsidies to buy private insurance was going nowhere in the Senate. The cover letter made reference to a story in The Washington Post in which Cantor appeared to distance himself from the subsidy proposal.

"Your conclusion was correct that House Republicans 'need to look elsewhere' after President Obama ‘excoriated’ the proposal you and your Republican colleagues adopted to privatize Medicare through a voucher system," Brown wrote in the letter to Cantor. 

"While I am sure you are under pressure from your caucus to defend that misguided vote rather than to move away from it, I urge you to maintain the position you took yesterday as reported by The Washington Post. If you need further proof that the House Republican plan is a non-starter, I urge you to review the enclosed letter."