WASHINGTON -- Last Sunday (October 12, 1996), Vice President Al Gore stated on the "Meet the Press" program that the Concord Coalition has said "the consequences of this Dole plan for Medicare would be extreme," and that the results for Medicare would be "absolutely devastating."
Vice President Gore's characterization of Concord's analysis of the Dole plan was incorrect.
As Concord has pointed out,(1) Bob Dole's Medicare recommendations directly incorporate the policies contained in the Congressional Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 1997. The Congressional Budget Office reported in its August 1996 Update(2) that these Medicare changes would reduce Medicare expenditures by $158 billion for the six fiscal years 1997 through 2002. This is the figure Concord used in its analysis of the Dole economic plan.
Bob Dole's plan and his subsequent comments have repeatedly stated that additional changes in Medicare policies beyond those in the Congressional Budget Resolution are "off the table" and are not included in his economic plan(3). Dole-Kemp campaign materials explicitly state that "additional savings" needed beyond those in the Congressional Budget Resolution do not rely on any reduction in Medicare.
Concord has strongly supported efforts in Congress to restrain Medicare costs. The policies in the Congressional Budget Resolution, if anything, fall short of achieving the savings needed to sustain the Medicare program when the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement(4).
Finally, Concord has consistently criticized "Mediscare" tactics that attempt to frighten older voters by painting inadequately small Medicare changes as gutting the program(5).