Owens Already a Target Over Health Care

Posted November 6, 2009 at 2:54pm

Rep. Bill Owens was sworn in as the newest member of Congress just hours ago but already he’s drawing heat from Republicans for his policy stances.

Owens announced Friday afternoon that he will vote in favor of the Democrats’ health care overhaul proposal, which is expected to come to a vote on Saturday. “This legislation will reform the insurance industry and provide increased access to affordable healthcare without taxing healthcare benefits, cutting Medicare benefits or raising taxes on the middle class, and that is exactly the direction we need to go,” the New York Congressman said in a statement.

Not so fast, said the National Republican Congressional Committee, which was quick to point out that an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office found that the plan does cut Medicare benefits, specifically Medicare Advantage. In the words of the CBO, the plan would “reduce direct spending” in Medicare, Medicaid and other programs “by about $426 billion in the 2010-19 period.” Democrats say that those cuts will in fact be savings created by weeding out inefficiencies.