Dem chair calls Republican Medicare plan tornado through nursing homes; GOP hits Obama on health costsby George Bennett | March 22nd, 2012
A spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which has been running ads blaming President Obama for higher health care costs, called Wasserman Schultz’s imagery “irresponsible rhetoric.”
Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Broward County, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, criticized House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan‘s latest budget proposal, which Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney hailed as a “bold step toward putting our nation back on the track to fiscal sanity and robust economic growth.”
Said Wasserman Schultz: “The Romney-Ryan budget would be devastating to seniors and older Americans. It is a Republican path to poverty that would pass like a tornado through America’s nursing homes where millions of America’s seniors receive long-term and end-of-life care.”
The Ryan plan — which has no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate — would leave Medicare intact for current recipients and those nearing retirement. But when those who are now 54 and younger reach retirement, the plan would replace the current fee-for-service program with subsidies to purchase insurance.
Medicare trustees estimate the program as it’s now structured won’t be able to pay full benefits beginning in 2024.
“Republicans are stepping up to the plate and showing true leadership by tackling structural budgetary problems that will haunt future generations if Congress takes no action,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Matt Connelly, who called the tornado remark “irresponsible rhetoric.”
Asked how Democrats would extend Medicare’s solvency, Wasserman Schultz said, “President Obama believes that you can add solvency to Medicare, you can reduce the costs of Medicare, without ending Medicare’s guarantee, without blowing a hole in the safety net that Medicare is and without turning Medicare into a voucher program.”
Biden is expected to focus on senior themes Friday when he visits the Wynmoor retirement community in Coconut Creek. The hundreds of tickets that were made available for the event have all been claimed, the Obama campaign said.
Tags: Paul Ryan