Press Release

Cuellar: GOP FY 2013 Budget Ends Medicare as We Know It

AARP says the GOP budget proposal will 'jeopardize the health and economic security of older Americans'

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Washington, March 22, 2012 | Maria R. Gonzalez (202-225-1640) | comments

Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, today expressed disapproval of the proposed Republican budget for FY 2013, which was introduced this week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

 “Once again Republicans failed to learn their lesson from the last budget proposal by insisting on burdening the middle class and our seniors,” said Cuellar. “We cannot propose draconian budget cuts and proposals that will leave their well-being in jeopardy. We are a better nation than that and we can come up with better solutions to lower our nation’s deficit."

“Ending Medicare as we know it will have adverse effects on our seniors and our economy. I stand with the 70 percent of Americans who want to keep Medicare as it is today,” said Cuellar. “As legislators we have the responsibility to provide effective legislation that will create jobs, grow the economy and create fair economic opportunities for every American. This budget does the complete opposite.”

Budget proposal provisions include ending traditional Medicare by transitioning into a premium support plan or voucher system. In addition, the Committee on Energy and Commerce estimates that Medicaid cuts in the proposal would endanger health care coverage for more than 60 million Americans including 33 million children and 16 million seniors and individuals with disabilities

 Various groups have come out in opposition to the proposal with serious concerns over the changes to Medicare and proposed cuts.  The AARP, which represents over 38 million  members and other Americans age 50 and older, referred to the Republican budget as “lacking balance and jeopardizing the health and economic security of older Americans,” noting that the proposed changes to Medicare will remove its “promise of secure health coverage” for seniors and other beneficiaries.

 According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, vouchers for Medicare as proposed in the Republican budget proposal “would require seniors to pay more to keep their plan and doctors they like.” A recent poll by the non-partisan health group, Kaiser found that 70 percent of Americans say “Medicare should continue as it is today, with the government guaranteeing seniors health insurance and making sure that everyone gets the same defined set of benefits.”

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