Cornyn Lies About Medicare in Senate Health Debate

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He's at it again! John Cornyn, who really hates that the government funds social safety-net programs to help working Americans, has been positioning himself as a “staunch defender” of Medicare in the Senate health reform debate. From his 30-second TV spot that aired around Texas a few weeks back to his comments today, it's clear that Senator Cornyn would rather mislead the people of Texas than help them have access to affordable, quality health care.


“The question that I have and I–why in the world would you take money out of the Medicare program that is scheduled to go insolvent in 2017 that has tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, why would you take almost half a trillion dollars out of Medicare to create yet another entitlement program that no doubt will be — will have many of the problems that we see now under our current entitlement programs? It just does not make sense if you are guided by the facts. … Now, some of my colleagues have claimed that these cuts won't hurt patients, but many people, including me, disagree.” — Senate Floor, 12/2/09

But wait! John Cornyn is wrong:

  • FACT: The Health Reform Bill will extend Medicare solvency by five years. From the AARP, experts on policies impacting folks over 50: “In fact, budget experts say, without cutting guaranteed benefits, both bills shore up the solvency of the Medicare trust fund for five additional years.”
  • FACT: Health Reform Will Enhance Drug Coverage. From the New York Times: “the various reform bills now pending should actually make Medicare better for most beneficiaries – by enhancing their drug coverage, [and]reducing the premiums they pay for drugs and medical care.”
  • FACT: Health Reform will not hurt patients. Again, the AARP is on it: “This bill includes critical priorities for seniors – critical – ensures quality, affordable health coverage options for all Americans, provides and strengthens Medicare for today's seniors and future generations and puts us on a path to improving our long-term health system.”

Let's all savor the irony of John Cornyn telling folks to be “guided by the facts” as he stands on the Senate floor and deliberately distorts them. All in a day's work for our junior Senator, I suppose. That leaves us with just one more bullet point:

  • FACT: John Cornyn would rather see the people of Texas retain our 24% uninsured rate than let a Democratic President pass a successful health reform bill.

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. fun facts
    That is the new GOP talking point– fun facts. By shouting “fact!” before each falsification, it leads the reader/listener into believing it to be an actual fact. They do it daily in letter to the editor to the local rag in Denton. To double up on their “fact!”, they reiterate the length of the bill, which usually scares off anyone from actually reading it for themselves.

  2. I was prepared to defend Cornyn
    however after reading the sources I can't defend him from the AARP who's in Obamas back pocket and an opinion piece from the New York times. Solid facts.

  3. Two Facts!
    Fact One: I'm working on a short list of the occasions on which John Coryn actually told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on the floor of the US Senate.

    Fact Two: I'm still working hard on the first entry.

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