Pledge: Medicare

[ Note: This references and expands on my previous postings . . . Trust No Incumbent, Pledges: Candidate Contracts, How Pledges Can Work, and The October Surprise. ]

This pledge should be presented to any congressman running for re-election this November, who recently voted for either version of what has been termed the Ryan budget. This horrifying piece of legislation is a direct attack on Medicare as we now know it. It’s a sure sign that this member of Congress is either clinically insane, morally bankrupt, or in bed with the imperious elite who want to build even bigger fortified castles for themselves and ultimately turn all of the rest of us into their indentured servants. It’s vile! Profit off of the illness of the elderly. Minimize their coverage. It is class warfare at its worst. Enrich the already filthy rich. Screw the 99%.

The Ryan budget bludgeon to the middle and working class has come up for vote before Congress twice, first at the end of March and more recently in May of this year. The March version was particularly destructive to Medicare, essentially converting it to a voucher program which would have enriched corporate health care providers while severely curtailing coverage to Medicare recipients. Either version represents a callous dismemberment of the most popular piece of social legislation in history.

Here are the congressional representatives who voted in favor of the Ryan budget on either March 29 or May 10, 2012 __ all but four voted for both:

Adams (R, FL), Aderholt (R, AL), Akin (R, MO), Alexander (R, LA), Amash (R, MI), Amodei (R, NV), Austria (R, OH), Bachmann (R, MN), Barletta (R, PA), Bartlett (R, MD), Barton (R, TX), Bass (R, NH), Benishek (R, MI), Berg (R, ND), Biggert (R, IL), Bilbray (R, CA), Bilirakis (R, FL), Bishop (R, UT), Black (R, TN), Blackburn (R, TN), Bonner (R, AL), Bono Mack (R, CA), Boustany (R, LA), Brady (R, TX), Brooks (R, AL), Buchanan (R, FL), Bucshon (R, IN), Buerkle (R, NY), Burgess (R, TX), Burton (R, IN), Calvert (R, CA), Camp (R, MI), Campbell (R, CA), Canseco (R, TX), Cantor (R, VA), Capito (R, WV), Carter (R, TX), Cassidy (R, LA), Chabot (R, OH), Chaffetz (R, UT), Coble (R, NC), Coffman (R, CO), Cole (R, OK), Conaway (R, TX), Cravaack (R, MN), Crawford (R, AR), Crenshaw (R, FL), Culberson (R, TX), Davis (R, KY), Denham (R, CA), Dent (R, PA), DesJarlais (R, TN), Diaz-Balart (R, FL), Dold (R, IL), Dreier (R, CA), Duffy (R, WI), Duncan (R, SC), Duncan (R, TN), Ellmers (R, NC), Emerson (R, MO), Farenthold (R, TX), Fincher (R, TN), Fitzpatrick (R, PA), Flake (R, AZ), Fleischmann (R, TN), Fleming (R, LA), Flores (R, TX), Forbes (R, VA), Fortenberry (R, NE), Foxx (R, NC), Franks (R, AZ), Frelinghuysen (R, NJ), Gallegly (R, CA), Gardner (R, CO), Garrett (R, NJ), Gerlach (R, PA), Gibbs (R, OH), Gibson (R, NY), Gingrey (R, GA), Gohmert (R, TX), Goodlatte (R, VA), Gosar (R, AZ), Gowdy (R, SC), Granger (R, TX), Graves (R, GA), Graves (R, MO), Griffin (R, AR), Griffith (R, VA), Grimm (R, NY), Guinta (R, NH), Guthrie (R, KY), Hall (R, TX), Hanna (R, NY), Harper (R, MS), Harris (R, MD), Hartzler (R, MO), Hastings (R, WA), Hayworth (R, NY), Heck (R, NV), Hensarling (R, TX), Herger (R, CA), Herrera Beutler (R, WA), Huelskamp (R, KS), Huizenga (R, MI), Hultgren (R, IL), Hunter (R, CA), Hurt (R, VA), Issa (R, CA), Jenkins (R, KS), Johnson (R, IL), Johnson (R, OH), Johnson (R, TX), Jones (R, NC), Jordan (R, OH), Kelly (R, PA), King (R, IA), King (R, NY), Kingston (R, GA), Kinzinger (R, IL), Kline (R, MN), Labrador (R, ID), Lamborn (R, CO), Lance (R, NJ), Landry (R, LA), Lankford (R, OK), Latham (R, IA), LaTourette (R, OH), Latta (R, OH), Lewis (R, CA), LoBiondo (R, NJ), Long (R, MO), Lucas (R, OK), Luetkemeyer (R, MO), Lummis (R, WY), Lungren (R, CA), Manzullo (R, IL), Marchant (R, TX), Marino (R, PA), McCarthy (R, CA), McCaul (R, TX), McClintock (R, CA), McCotter (R, MI), McHenry (R, NC), McKeon (R, CA), McKinley (R, WV), McMorris Rodgers (R, WA), Meehan (R, PA), Mica (R, FL), Miller (R, FL), Miller (R, MI), Miller (R, CA), Mulvaney (R, SC), Murphy (R, PA), Myrick (R, NC), Neugebauer (R, TX), Noem (R, SD), Nugent (R, FL), Nunes (R, CA), Nunnelee (R, MS), Olson (R, TX), Palazzo (R, MS), Paulsen (R, MN), Pearce (R, NM), Pence (R, IN), Petri (R, WI), Pitts (R, PA), Platts (R, PA), Poe (R, TX), Pompeo (R, KS), Posey (R, FL), Price (R, GA), Quayle (R, AZ), Reed (R, NY), Rehberg (R, MT), Reichert (R, WA), Renacci (R, OH), Ribble (R, WI), Rigell (R, VA), Rivera (R, FL), Roby (R, AL), Roe (R, TN), Rogers (R, AL), Rogers (R, KY), Rogers (R, MI), Rohrabacher (R, CA), Rokita (R, IN), Rooney (R, FL), Roskam (R, IL), Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL), Ross (R, FL), Royce (R, CA), Runyan (R, NJ), Ryan (R, WI), Scalise (R, LA), Schilling (R, IL), Schmidt (R, OH), Schock (R, IL), Schweikert (R, AZ), Scott (R, SC), Scott (R, GA), Sensenbrenner (R, WI), Sessions (R, TX), Shimkus (R, IL), Shuler (D, NC), Shuster (R, PA), Simpson (R, ID), Smith (R, NE), Smith (R, NJ), Smith (R, TX), Southerland (R, FL), Stearns (R, FL), Stivers (R, OH), Stutzman (R, IN)Sullivan (R, OK), Terry (R, NE), Thompson (R, PA), Thornberry (R, TX), Tiberi (R, OH), Tipton (R, CO), Turner (R, NY), Turner (R, OH), Upton (R, MI), Walberg (R, MI), Walden (R, OR), Walsh (R, IL), Webster (R, FL), West (R, FL), Westmoreland (R, GA), Whitfield (R, KY), Wilson (R, SC), Wittman (R, VA), Wolf (R, VA), Womack (R, AR), Woodall (R, GA), Yoder (R, KS), Young (R, AK), Young (R, FL), Young (R, IN).

On to the business of confronting these self-serving miscreants with the pledge.

Recall now that an impressive number of voter signatures will have been collected on a petition in favor of leaving Medicare alone.

Further recall that another candidate has signed the pledge, either the incumbent’s major-party opponent, a minor-party opponent, or an independent candidate.

It’s the first week of October. We present the incumbent candidate the pledge . . .

Dear Mr. [name of congressman]:

Find attached copies of petitions bearing the signatures of [number] registered voters in your district who have expressed their clear intentions on Medicare. This declaration of voter intent reads as follows:

I am a registered voter and will only vote for a candidate for public office who will leave Medicare alone. If a candidate guarantees unequivocally to fight for keeping Medicare as it currently stands, I will give that candidate my unqualified support.

The voting public both nationally and here in your congressional district has expressed its wishes on Medicare loud and clear. It wants it completely off the table in any negotiations on future national budgets!

We also believe it is fair and proper to inform you that another candidate who is seeking this same office has already signed a commitment in the form of a pledge __ a duplicate of the document we are offering you here today __ to leave Medicare as it now stands.

We respectfully request that you sign the following pledge so that we, your constituents should you are returned to your seat as our senator in the upcoming election, can invest our full confidence in your willingness and ability to perform the duties of that office.

I, [candidate name], if re-elected to my seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, hereby commit to co-sponsor and vote in favor of legislation to establish a 10-year moratorium on any changes to the Medicare program as it is now configured, particularly alterations which could reduce the delivery of or payment for health care to eligible recipients. I will offer no resistance to or in any way put up an impediment to, nor discourage, and will in fact publicly and on the floor of Congress actively promote any and all legislation which supports this measure. If no other legislator comes forward to offer such a moratorium,  I will create and introduce by my own initiative, within 90 days of taking office, such a legislative act.

I further understand and fully agree to the following: If I violate the above-stated terms of this pledge, I will tender on the 91st day after taking an oath of office for my legislative seat, my full and unqualified resignation from this elected position. Moreover, within one year of my resignation, I will refund all contributions made from individual donors in support of my candidacy for this office.

This entire pledge constitutes a legally binding contract between myself and that class of citizens who will be my constituents, should I win the upcoming election. In the event that I fail to perform any of the above-required actions, redress may be sought by those same citizens in the form of a class-action suit in a civil court of law, and I will be liable for a minimum of $10,000,000 damages for breach of contract. If I fail to resign from office due to my failure to fulfill the other requirements of this contract, I may be liable for an additional class-action settlement in the amount of $50,000,000. No portion of these specified settlements may be paid from campaign donations, PACs or SuperPACs.

I take this pledge voluntarily and with full appreciation of my responsibility to those citizens I will be representing in my capacity as elected representative from [name of state]. I accept the terms of this pledge with a thorough and lucid understanding of its requirements and consequences.

Signed: _____________________________  Date: __________________

Maybe the candidate will sign.


But probably not.


Let the sweet talking slime ball try to explain to his constituents why he refuses to support protecting the most popular government program in history, a shining gem as these things go, a legislative work of art which has the rare distinction of garnering a huge majority of thumbs-up and praise across the entire political spectrum throughout the whole nation.

It will be fascinating what nonsensical blathering he or she inserts between the hims and haws on this particular topic.

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