DES MOINES | The Affordable Care Act is hurting Iowa families seniors “will be forced to take brunt of Obamacare desperately finding ways to pay for itself,” according to a Republican U.S. Senate hopeful.
Mark Jacobs, who is seeking the Iowa GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat, cast blame on presumptive Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, for the recently proposed cut of as much as 5.9 percent to the Medicare Advantage program.
“Bruce Braley said that Obamacare would not weaken Medicare for seniors,” said Jacobs, who campaigned Wednesday at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids. “He was wrong. In Iowa, 67,713 seniors rely on Medicare Advantage plan. Now, with the administration’s proposed cuts, they are at risk for facing higher costs, fewer benefits, fewer choices, and more.”
Also Wednesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said Iowa seniors blame Braley for those Medicare cuts that could be as much as $35 to $45 a month. Although Braley wasn’t mentioned in the NRSC poll, it charged that the cuts “directly result from Braley’s support for Obamacare, which takes $206 billion from Medicare Advantage.”
“Mr. Braley continues to support the failed policy of Obamacare, despite the known negative impacts,” Jacobs said. “He voted for Obamacare, which will fund itself through cuts to Medicate Advantage, harming our seniors.”
Jacobs expressed his support for health care insurance that covers all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. The ACA, he said, doesn’t address the core problem of rising healthcare costs that “are squeezing Iowa’s families and seniors.”
“Iowans deserve better,” Jacobs said, adding that as a senator he would “do what’s best for Iowa: repeal Obamacare and reform healthcare.”
The Braley campaign accused Jacobs of hypocrisy on the issue, arguing that Medicare cuts have long been part of Republicans budget plans. Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan includes the cut, according to Jeff Giertz, Braley for Iowa spokesman.
“The only candidates in the Iowa Senate race who are trying to dismantle Medicare are Republicans who support plans that would turn Medicare into a voucher program and cut benefits,” Giertz said. “If Mark Jacobs and his fellow Tea Party conservatives had their way, hundreds of thousands of Iowa seniors would pay thousands of dollars more for health care each year and insurance companies could charge women more for health care than men.”
Jacobs, he added, “continues to hypocritically offer criticism without any health care plan of his own.”
Earlier Wednesday during an appearance at the Westside Conservative Club, state Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, who also is seeking the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Iowa, also took shots at Obamacare but told the crowd she is the “only proven conservative” in the race with a record having opposed the proposed Medicaid expansion during the 2013 session.
“What I see happening right now is Bruce Braley and his allies are trying to take the Washington bureaucracy and replace our Iowa values with that bureaucracy,” she said. “I am not going to let that happen.”
Ernst also criticized the president for embarking on a “misguided” policy in response to aggressive Soviet military action toward the Ukraine.