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DPO PRESS RELEASE

Pressed on Medicare and Social Security, Cornilles Supports Privatization for Seniors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Portland, Ore. (October 12, 2011) - 

For months, Republican Tea Party candidate Rob Cornilles has talked circles around a straight answer on Medicare and Social Security. Now we know why: Cornilles believes in subjecting Oregon seniors to the mercies of Wall Street and the private insurance market.
 
In an interview with the Oregonian published today, Cornilles advocates for a private option for Medicare, where seniors could risk losing their guaranteed benefits in the open marketplace. And at the Pacific University Candidate Forum last Sunday, Cornilles advocated for a private option for Social Security, where seniors risk having their livelihoods gambled away by Wall Street.
 
“It’s no comfort to finally know where Rob Cornilles stands on Medicare and Social Security,” said Trent Lutz, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “If Cornilles thinks providing vouchers for Medicare and privatizing Social Security are viable options, Oregon seniors are going to have something to say about it.”
 
Background:
 
Supported a Private Option for Medicare. In 2011, Cornilles said he supported a “hybrid” approach of giving seniors a choice between the existing system and a private option in relation to the Republican budget plan. [Oregonian, 10/11/11]
 
Supported Private Option for Social Security. When asked about the Ryan Plan, Cornilles said, “Right now there’s two plans, essentially, one is to let Social Security go bankrupt by doing nothing, by allowing it to just continue on its present course. And the other is to take it totally private. I think that somewhere in between, I think you create an opportunity rather to allow people more choice.” [Pacific University Candidate Forum, 31:54, 10/9/11]
 
House Republicans Propose Social Security Opt-Out. “House Republicans [in June] introduced legislation that would allow workers to partially opt out of Social Security immediately, and fully opt out after 15 years.” The measure was introduced by NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (TX-32) and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) among others. [The Hill, 6/6/11]
 
Republican Ryan Budget Ends Medicare As We Know It. “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]
 
Supported Cutting Social Security and Medicare Before Defense. In 2010, Cornilles said that he would cut spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare before trimming the defense budget. [Daily Astorian, 1/21/10]

Contact: Erik Dorey, Communications Director press [at] dpo [dot] org (503) 239-8624

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