Deutch raps Romney, Ryan on Medicareby George Bennett | August 20th, 2012
Paul Ryan‘s recent Florida campaign appearance with his mother proves that the Republican plan to overhaul Medicare is a bad deal for future retirees, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, told a seniors group this morning.
Deutch, who faces two no-party opponents in November, picked up the endorsement of the labor-backed Florida Alliance of Retired Americans and spoke to about 70 of the group’s members in West Delray.
Ryan made his first Florida campaign appearance as Mitt Romney‘s running mate on Saturday and brought along his 78-year-old mother, Broward County resident Betty Ryan Douglas, to assure a throng of seniors in The Villages that the GOP will protect Medicare.
Ryan’s plan, embraced by Romney, would leave Medicare as is for current recipients and those 55 and older. Those 54 and younger would have the option of traditional Medicare or a government subsidy to purchase private insurance.
“When Paul Ryan stands with his mother and says ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, this plan is not going to affect you,’ I know what I heard when he said that was ‘I know, Mom, that you would never even vote for your son if we made the kind of cuts in my plan to you that we’re going to make to people under the age of 55,’ ” Deutch said.
“If they (the Medicare changes) are that bad, then we shouldn’t be doing it to anyone, certainly not under this Ryan plan that is so terrible to so many.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in March that “beneficiaries might face higher costs” under Ryan’s plan.
Deutch also noted that Ryan’s 2011 and 2012 budget plans included the same $716 billion in reductions in future Medicare spending that are contained in the new federal health care law that Republicans criticize.
Romney, in a break with his running mate, has pledged to reinstate the $716 billion in Medicare spending.
Deutch said that $716 billion came from greater efficiencies and restoring it won’t help beneficiaries.
“When Mitt Romney talks about putting $716 billion back, he’s taking that money, putting billions of dollars back in the hands of insurance companies. He’s taking billions of dollars and putting it back into waste and fraud and abuse in the system,” Deutch said.
While Republicans call the $716 billion “cuts” and Democrats call them “savings” that won’t hurt beneficiaries, CBO offered a less-certain evaluation than either side.
“The restraints on Medicare spending could lead to reduced access to health care; diminished quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries; greater efficiency of health care delivery; less investment in new, high-cost technologies; or some combination of those outcomes. CBO does not have the capability at this time to estimate effects of that sort,” the March report said.