8th District ad war over Medicare heats up

Former DFL Congressman Rick Nolan put out a new TV ad Wednesday accusing Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack of “desperate and misleading” campaign tactics regarding Medicare.

Cravaack released an ad earlier this week accusing Nolan of believing that “cutting $700 billion from Medicare won’t have an impact on seniors.”

Nolan supports the Obama administration’s plan to cut growth in Medicare spending by about that much. But Cravaack voted for Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which includes the same spending cuts.

In his ad, Nolan states “Cravaack’s radical budget would undermine Medicare,” and raise costs “over $6,000 a year.” Cravaack would “end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a private voucher system which would raise costs for seniors by $6,400 per year.”

That figure is based on a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the first Ryan budget released in the spring of 2011. A new analysis from Harvard University Professor David Cutler estimates future seniors would pay even more for Medicare benefits under Ryan’s latest budget, about $6,800 more per year. Cravaack voted for both plans.

Nolan and Cravaack are engaged in what is thought to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the country. The two meet for a debate next week in Duluth.

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