Raleigh, N.C. — A recent ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee accuses Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre of working against seniors. McIntyre is running for re-election against Republican state Sen. David Rouzer.
The ad script reads in part: "But career politician Mike McIntyre doesn’t want you to know that he voted against giving prescription drug benefits to millions of seniors."
While McIntyre isn't exactly running on this fact, it is true that he voted against adding the prescription drug benefit to Medicare when it passed in 2003.
We asked McIntyre's campaign why he voted against what was surely a popular entitlement for a group of folks that tends to come out in large numbers. They sent us this statement McIntyre made at the time:
“Our nation’s senior citizens have made this nation what it is today and have both influenced and changed our way of life for the better. They deserve and have our respect for rearing us, educating us, and providing us with the opportunities to succeed in life.
“Senior citizens need certainty, affordability, and predictability when it comes to health care costs.
“The Medicare prescription drug plan proposed tonight does not honor our senior citizens for four important reasons.
“First, we can do better than having our senior citizens pay $4000 for $1000 of benefits. This is just one example of our seniors not getting their money’s worth. Plus, no benefit begins until 2006.
“Second, we can do better than letting 73,000 retirees in North Carolina lose their prescription drug coverage from their former employees.
“Third, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should be allowed to negotiate the best price for drugs for our senior citizens. This bill does not allow us to do that!
“And fourth, we can do better than allowing millions of poor and disabled senior citizens end up with less drug coverage under this agreement than they now have through Medicaid.
“We should pass a real prescription drug plan that recognizes and respects our senior citizens. They need it. They deserve it. They have earned it.”
McIntyre has never really backed off his criticism of the prescription drug plan. Project Vote Smart captured a 2006 news release in which McIntyre doubled down on his opposition and pointed to what he saw were problems with the law.
You can watch the ad below.