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Hands Off Medicare

by Chuck Westover  |  May 25, 2011

The federal budget that was introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and passed in the U.S. House last month is being voted on in the Senate this week.

You've probably already heard about the Ryan budget because of its radical proposal to eliminate Medicare as we know it. But it's worse than that. It's clear that what he's calling the "Pathway to Prosperity" should really be named the "Pathway to Poverty," given what it means for most Americans.

The Ryan pathway is a wrong turn for America. It only brings more prosperity to insurance companies, Wall Street fat cats, and the wealthiest companies and individuals in America while dumping the rest of us in a dead end. It's outrageous.

And it must be stopped in the Senate.

  • Ryan's budget includes deep cuts to federal programs that fund state and local governments at a time when many states are already in crisis, and more and more people need their services. It's nothing short of another outright attack on public employees and the services we provide.
  • The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare beneficiaries' premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses would double when compared to Medicare as it is now – from $6,150 to $12,500.
  • Ryan claims this bill would reduce the deficit by $4.3 trillion. What he doesn't say is that it's almost entirely wiped out by the $4.2 trillion in tax cuts to benefit the wealthiest Americans. Indeed, it would reduce the tax rate for prosperous corporations and reduce the tax rate paid by the wealthiest to its lowest level since 1931.

This budget proposal is so radical that even some Republicans like Newt Gingrich are distancing themselves from it. While home during recess many of the House Republicans who voted for it (all but 4 did) were taken to task at town hall meetings by the same people who voted for them last November. And just yesterday, voters in New York's 26th Congressional District dealt a sharp rebuke against the scheme in a campaign that was almost entirely focused on the Ryan budget.

It's clear that the voices of working Americans are being heard and making a difference in this fight. Please speak out against this extreme proposal by sending a message to your senators today. Let them know that you won't stand by while Medicare, Medicaid, and even Social Security are dismantled to pay for tax breaks for the rich and subsidies to oil companies.

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