House U.s. Budget Passed Ends Medicare As We Know It, But Senate Plan Could Save It
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (04/15/2011) - On what would normally be the final day of filing income tax returns, the United States House passed it's version of a U.S. budget that could cut about $6 Trillion over a period of years. The Republican controlled House plan includes cuts to social safety net programs. It remains to be seen if all of the budget cuts remain intact as the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate is working on its own plan, and the political ideology and rhetoric continues.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today voted against what he calls "the economically irresponsible Republican budget that not only privatizes Medicare but also provides tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans."
“It is critical that we agree on a budget that puts our country on a sound fiscal path but I refuse to do that on the backs of seniors and disadvantaged Americans,” said U.S. House Representative Kind.
“The Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it – forcing seniors into private health care plans and doubling their out of pocket expenses – all while giving tax breaks to wealthy Wall Street bankers and large subsidies to Big Oil. This is not responsible to our seniors and not the way to address our budget challenges,” Kind went on.
The Republican budget proposal would do away with traditional Medicare for everyone under age 55 and replace it with a voucher program that would force seniors to find health care for themselves and increase their health care expenses.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that the GOP plan would cause seniors to “bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the traditional program”.
CBO also found that the GOP plan would more than double the typical senior’s out-of-pocket health care spending in 2022, compared to what their costs would be under traditional Medicare – increasing their out-of-pocket costs by more than $6,000.
“To reduce health care costs, we need to reform our health care system to pay for the value of care given and not the volume of care,” said Kind.
“I refuse to ask 33 seniors in western Wisconsin to pay an additional $6,000 a year for health care so President Obama can receive a $200,000 tax break. That’s wrong and there are better ways to reduce our nation’s debt.”
The Republican controlled House budget for the U.S. government also slashes support of seniors in nursing homes and makes deep cuts in Medicaid while making tax cuts for the wealthiest permanent – adding $1 trillion to the deficit.
The vote today was along party lines. Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin says he was proud to vote for what he called "Ryan's budget proposal" today.
“It was on this day in 1912 that the unsinkable Titanic sank. As it stands, our growing debt and deficit make our nation vulnerable to sinking," Sensenbrenner said.
"That’s why I was proud to vote in favor of Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal because it takes the necessary steps to shift our government’s spending priorities in an effort to better prevent our own Titanic," Sensenbrenner continued.
“This vote starts an honest debate about getting our spending under control and taking real steps to make that happen through cutting trillions of dollars, reforming the tax code and welfare system, and eliminating wasteful spending. At the same time, it preserves and strengthens the health and retirement programs for those who are currently 55 and older and future retirees," Congressman Sensenbrenner said.
“I commend Congressman Ryan on leading this charge,” Sensennerbrenner added.
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