Democrat Dan Maffei is using the 47th anniversary of Medicare to emphasize his support for the program that provides medical care for older Americans.
Maffei says the current Medicare program is in danger.
"The House of Representatives has voted on a plan that would end Medicare as we know it, drastically cutting the benefits, giving seniors a voucher to go into the private market to buy Medicare or some sort of health care. They'll still call it Medicare but it won't be," Maffei told reporters in Syracuse Monday. "But there is a real threat, because you have representatives like Ann Marie Buerkle on the floor of the House that would vote for something that would change it to a very different system."
Maffei says he'll work to strengthen the current program. The former Congressman says that the key is to get health care costs down, and offer more preventive care as well as incentives for more physicians to go into geriatric care.
Maffei faces Ann Marie Buerkle, the incumbent Republican Congresswoman, in the November race for the newly created 24th Congressional District. The district represents much of central New York, including Syracuse and Oswego County, and it's one of the nation's most hotly contested Congressional races this November.