Tuesday October 23, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Demo cratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has turned aside Republican contentions that a $716 billion cut in Medicare payments to fight fraud and inefficiency and to cap the surge in reimbursements to insurers and hospitals would reduce benefits to seniors enrolled in the program.

"It’s clear where the cuts are," she responded to a question posed during a campaign visit to The Eagle on Monday.

She cited an AARP examination of the reductions -- "they’ve taken this plan apart from soup to nuts" -- that found "the claim that these cuts weaken Medicare is simply wrong. The cuts strengthen Medicare because they get a little bit of spending back in balance and they help the Medicare program be stronger and more sustainable. Those are the facts."

According to Warren, independent fact-checkers have determined that the $716 billion reduction "doesn’t cut benefits, ever, for recipients."

Warren said she found it "disturbing" that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would run "on what is so clearly not true" and that Repub lican Sen. Scott Brown, seeking re-election, "would pull a page straight out of that playbook and run with it as well."

"It’s such a public statement of ‘I will say anything to win,’" Warren claimed. "Don’t let the facts get in the way. It was wrong when Mitt Romney said it, and it’s wrong when Scott Brown repeated it."

-- Clarence Fanto