At an event in Racine today, Wisconsin seniors from around the state, including some from Paul Ryan’s very own district, presented an open letter (PDF) to the congressman on why they oppose his harmful budget and misplaced policies.
“None of us could believe it when Paul Ryan introduced this extreme plan hatched not right here in Racine or Kenosha, in Janesville or Union Grove, but in the offices of lobbyists in Washington that would end Medicare as we know it, that would leave us with higher prescription drugs, higher medical costs and would shred the safety net for those low-income seniors for whom the net was woven in the first place. The principle feature of this Paul Ryan budget, which Mitt Romney has now embraced, is turning Medicare into a voucher program and ending the guaranteed coverage that is the cornerstone of the program. Seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, would be forced into expensive private plans they cannot afford. What then will happen to these seniors?” said Rachel Trobaugh, a retired social worker who has lived in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District since 1974.
Crippling Medicare by turning it into a voucher program of diminishing value will have real and immediate effects not just on Wisconsin seniors, but also will introduce new burdens on working families in Wisconsin.
“Research done by the House of Representatives found Paul Ryan’s plan would have some terrible effects for seniors right here in the 1st Congressional District,” said Rep. Cory Mason. “The Romney-Ryan Plan would increase prescription drug costs for 9,700 Medicare beneficiaries who enter the so-called Part D donut hole. It would eliminate new preventive care benefits for 112,000 Medicare beneficiaries in this District, and would increase the out-of-pocket costs of health coverage by more than $6,000 per year in 2022 and by almost $12,000 per year by 2032 for the 137,000 in the District who are between the ages of 44 and 54. Finally, the Romney-Ryan Plan would deny 550,000 individuals aged 54 and younger access to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits.”
“The sad fact of the matter is that Paul Ryan has the audacity to author a plan to end Medicare merely so that he can pay for tax cuts for the richest Americans,” said Mac McCaughey, a retired social work supervisor. “That’s right — the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare is just the first part of a plan built so that not only do millionaires and billionaires not pay their fair share as we dig out of this recession — but so that they actually get tax breaks. We’ve seen many things in our life, through good times and bad, through war and peace, through drought and through plenty. But the seniors of Wisconsin have never seen someone like Paul Ryan, who would put the riches of billionaires above the economic security, before the health and well-being of seniors like me.”