By Ben Krumholz, FOX 11 News
BELLEVUE—Barbara Winter says she has relied heavily on Medicare. It's why she decided to protest outside a Republican event in Bellevue.
“Last year I had six operations,” said Winter, who is from Appleton. “Without Medicare I could not have done it and without the operations I would not be standing here talking to you today.”
Democrats say the Republican plan for Medicare is exemplified in a June video of Tommy Thompson. The Senate candidate is speaking to a group that calls themselves nonpartisan.
“Who better than me who's already finished one of the entitlement programs (welfare) to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?” Thompson says in the video.
Later on in the video, Thompson explained he wants the states to control Medicaid, and to make Medicare optional.
While meeting with supporters at The Ravine in Bellevue, Thompson says Democrats are playing the video out of context.
“It's always easy to take a word or two and splice it and slice it,” said Thompson. “What I was talking about was reforming Medicare.”
Thompson's Senate opponent, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, talked about the former governor's record on MSNBC's Hardball. She talked specifically about Thompson's time with the Bush administration as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“He gave the drug companies a sweetheart deal with the Medicare part D program,” said Baldwin. “He made it illegal for Medicare to bargain with the drug companies in order to get better prices for seniors.”
Thompson says, unlike Baldwin and other Democrats, he has a plan for Medicare.
“I want to reform Medicare so seniors don't have to worry about it,” said Thompson.
As for Winter, she has one message for whoever takes control in November.
“I want them to keep their hands off Medicare,” said Winter.
Election day is November 6th.
Watch the broadcast version of this story here.