Rep. Tom Price: Americans Want Me To Take Away Their Medicare

May 07, 2010 3:28 pm ET — Melinda Warner

On May 6, 2010, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said he would like to end Medicare and raise the retirement age in order to save money.  This is the same Rep. Price who, last summer, wrote that "nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government's intrusion into medicine through Medicare."


LIZ CLAMAN: ...but Representative, no matter what happens we have never seen Congress have the stomach to bite the bullet and take out a machete and start cutting because they'll hear about it from their constituents I don't care which side of the aisle you sit on. If you take away people's Medicare they are going to yelp and scream and may not re-elect some of you. Are you all ready to stomach that prospect?

PRICE: I am personally and many on our side of the aisle are but the American people are as well because they haven't looked at their television screens and seen the kind of activity we're seeing now in Western Europe. This is very concerning business over there. The fact that the people are engaged as they are in Greece and frankly the debt to GDP ratio is not far away in the United States. The people in this land understand that you got to get spending under control. That's what Massachusetts was all about. Scott Brown's election was all about spending and debt.

DAVID ASMAN: Congressman, talk is cheap and I don't doubt your word but I have to ask specifically are you willing to raise the retirement age in the United States? There's one specific proposal to get the debt under control.

PRICE: Absolutely, and in fact I would strongly support that.

There are over 45 million Americans enrolled in Medicare -- 45 million Americans who rely on the program for their medical needs after paying into the system their entire working lives, not to mention the more than 1 million Georgians who utilize the program.

However, considering that Price has accepted over $2 million from the health industry and over $200,000 from the pharmaceutical industry over the course of his career, it probably shouldn't be surprising that he favors dumping seniors into the private market.