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October 5, 2012

Tierney, Tisei: Where they stand on the issues

Often lost in the blistering attacks that have saturated the 6th District congressional campaign is the obvious fact that, over the next two years, either Richard Tisei or John Tierney will cast votes in Washington that will impact the lives of Cape Ann residents.

Beyond the name-calling and fog of negative advertising, the two candidates have significant differences on important policy questions.

“They are starkly contrasting views,” Tierney said at a recent North Shore Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Tierney, a Salem Democrat, is seeking re-election to the office he’s held for 16 years. Tisei, a Wakefield Republican, is a former state senator. Here’s what we know about their stances on Medicare, ObamaCare, taxes and the deficit just a month before the Nov. 6 election.

Medicare

It’s one of the most hotly debated topics in the campaign. Both men say they unequivocally support Medicare and want to ensure its fiscal survival, but they have different ways of doing that.

Tierney touts 2010’s Affordable Care Act, which he supported, for eliminating the senior prescription drug “doughnut hole,” shedding costs and extending the fiscal life of the Medicare program.

“Do we need to save money with the current program? Absolutely,” Tierney said recently in a speech in Beverly. “Every year, we need to look at ways to keep costs down as much as possible.”

Tierney, however, doesn’t think wholesale changes that would drastically transform the program are warranted, and opts instead to find savings through reforms like the Affordable Care Act.

Tisei has criticized Tierney’s approach. He has pointed to an aging population and huge expected cost increases over the next decade, and declared he wants a more long-term fiscal solution to Medicare’s woes.

“I would not vote for a Band-Aid, but something that fixes the system for the next generation,” Tisei said in an interview.

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