In a possible bellwether race for the 2012 election, reaction to the Republican plan to dismantle Medicare and other radical proposals cost the GOP a usually safe seat in a special election in upstate New York to replace Congressman Chris Lee.
Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin for a seat the Republicans have held since the 1960s. Hochul’s campaign focused heavily on GOP House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to replace the current Medicare system with a voucher system for seniors to purchase private insurance. The vouchers are tied to the general inflation rate and not the medical inflation rate, which will cause seniors to spend increasing amounts for medical coverage.
Reaction to the GOP plan has been overwhelmingly negative, with seniors packing town hall meetings of GOP Senators and House members nationwide to voice their opposition.