House GOP Budget Makes Seniors Pay for Tax Breaks for Corporations, Millionaires

March 21, 2012

For Immediate Release

March 20, 2012                                                      

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the proposal by U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

“The House GOP budget proposal unveiled today lays bare the party’s true colors.  The plan would cut health care for senior citizens in order to pay for more tax breaks for big corporations and for the wealthiest Americans.  It is unconscionable to take from those with the least – seniors trying to afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription – in order to give to those who already have the most.

“The callously cold details of the Ryan budget are hidden behind Washington jargon of ‘premium support.’  But the painful reality is that seniors would be given inadequate vouchers to either buy health coverage in the costly, unfair private insurance market, or purchase coverage from a Medicare program that would be badly weakened by the exodus of younger, healthier retirees.  Moreover, the budget plan would turn Medicaid over to cash-strapped states, jeopardizing a program that is the only way over 70 percent of seniors can afford long-term or nursing home care.

“Medicare is a lifeline for the American middle class.  It is one of our nation’s greatest success stories, rooted in shared American values of hard work and sound planning.  For decades, a worker sets aside a small portion of each paycheck to Medicare for the peace of mind of quality, affordable health care in retirement.  Under the Ryan budget, Medicare would be little more than an empty promise. The Ryan budget would badly weaken Medicare and badly weaken the middle class.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans, a four-million member grassroots advocacy organization, will be educating and mobilizing seniors across the country about how this cold, irresponsible budget threatens the well-being of current and future retirees.”

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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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