Pinning down exactly how much any of the health care proposals making their way through Congress might end up costing is challenge for the most actuarially adept Americans. Trying to pin a price on reform is as much a political exercise as it is a feat of accounting.
Which is why U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and other Republicans were quick to jump on a weekend report from the agency that oversees the Medicare program that found that $500 billion in planned cuts in order to pay for health care reform would sharply reduce benefits for many senior citizens.
In response, Buchanan - who represents the most elderly congressional district in the nation - issued a news release calling on Congress "to develop a health reform plan that will not punish the elderly or bankrupt America."
"I will not stand by while we devastate Medicare, one of the most important pillars of our nation's health care delivery system for senior citizens," Buchanan said.
Read Buchanan's entire statement here.
UPDATED, Nov. 17, 2009 — According to his Facebook page, Buchanan will go to the House floor between noon and 12:30 p.m. to speak on this issue. You can watch it on C-SPAN.