Presidential Candidate Thompson Calls for Cutting Medicare Costs
Republican presidential candidate and former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) on Wednesday at a Club for Growth event in Washington, D.C., discussed the need to reduce the cost of Medicare and other entitlement programs, the New York Times reports (Bosman, New York Times, 10/18).
Thompson said that Medicare could become insolvent without a reduction in the cost of the program.
He said, "We have to address the question of whether or not we stick with the same premiums" and deductibles for higher-income Medicare beneficiaries. In a statement, Thompson said that "our country faces ever-rising and unsustainable costs related to meeting this commitment" and that "we might expect wealthier seniors in the future to contribute more toward covering the costs of their own medical coverage" to "ensure Medicare's viability for future generations" (Theobald, Tennessean, 10/18).
However, Thompson did not provide specific details on a proposal to reduce the cost of Medicare. Two other Republican presidential candidates -- former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who appeared by satellite link -- also spoke at the event (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/18).
The National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association, and Associated Builders and Contractors on Tuesday held the first in a series of teleconferences with presidential candidates that will focus on health care and other issues important to small and medium-sized businesses, the Washington Examiner reports.
The groups on Tuesday held a teleconference with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
By Nov. 13, the groups plan to hold teleconferences with Giuliani, Romney and Thompson. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) have declined invitations to participate in the teleconferences, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) have not yet responded to invitations, according to ABC Director of Political Affairs Chris Singerling. NFIB spokesperson Mike Donohue called health care the most important issue for small businesses. "Small-business owners want wide availability of health care products and want affordability in providing health care," and many oppose "government-mandated, government-run proposals," Donohue said (Blake, Washington Examiner, 10/18).