Posted: Oct 16, 2012 10:24 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
The U.S. House debate between Democrat Kim Gillan and Republican Steve Daines on Saturday heated up when the two candidates asked each other a question.
Gillan asked Daines why he supports the Paul Ryan budget which she says cuts Medicare and hurts seniors.
"The budget plan that you support, Steve, does have an immediate and negative impact for seniors who are currently on Medicare," Gillan claims.
Daines replied, "If you are 55 or older it won't be touched. This is the problem, and this is where Senator Gillan and I would disagree, it's the demagoguery during an election to scare the seniors for the sake of winning an election."
So who's right?
The Ryan budget does dramatically reform Medicare for people under the age of 55. It gives them the option to either take the Medicare coverage or buy health insurance in the private market.
However, the Ryan budget would also cut all funding for the federal Affordable Care Act. If that happens, current seniors will see an immediate increase in their prescription drug and preventative healthcare costs.
Daines then asked Gillan about her stance on a sales tax.
"Why have you voted five times in favor of a sales tax, when the people of Montana oppose a sales tax?" Daines questioned.
As a state Senator, Gillan voted with Republicans on a tax reform package in 2003 and 2005 which reduced property taxes and created a sales tax for Montanans.
The bill died in the Legislature.
"One of the biggest challenges that I have heard over the years, are the challenges of property taxes. So working with both Republicans and Democrats I try to promote tax fairness," Gillan says.
Both candidates do have a different take on taxes.
Gillan says she will work to make sure big corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Daines says he does not support tax increases under any circumstances.
The debate, hosted by the Montana Television Network took place at the Riverside Country Club in Bozeman. It also aired live online, but if you missed the original broadcast, you can watch the full replay below.