The Oct. 30 issue of The Columbian included a half-page ad paid for by RetireSafe proclaiming that RetireSafe had awarded Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, its “Standing Up for America’s Seniors Award.” The ad praised Herrera Beutler for opposing President Obama’s plan to “force Medicaid-style price controls on the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.” This ad requires closer examination.
First, what is RetireSafe? Research shows RetireSafe to be a project of the Council for Government Reform, formerly known as the Center for Privatization. It is a Medicare astroturf group — an industry-funded group that claims to be “grassroots.” RetireSafe has close ties with Republican political lobbyists, Americans for Tax Reform and PhRMA.
Second, how does President Obama want to change the Medicare drug benefit? He wants Medicare to use its purchasing power to bargain with pharmaceutical companies for lower prescription prices. This would save money for the government and for seniors.
So RetireSafe supports Herrera Beutler. She voted for Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., voucher program to privatize Medicare and she opposes Medicare reforms that would lower profits for pharmaceutical corporations. I don’t think our representative deserves an award for protecting health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. She certainly doesn’t deserve my vote.