Let me begin by associating myself with comments that were made by previous speakers about the leadership of Jan Schakowsky and Doris Matsui on this very critical issue of seniors, and to join in thanking them for having this press conference and highlighting the Republican assault on America’s seniors.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have gained an appreciation for the fact that the federal budget is about much more than just dollars and cents. It is a moral document that reflects our priorities and our values.
The budget that was released yesterday by Representative Ryan is a reflection of Republican values and priorities and it isn’t a pretty picture.
At this very moment, in a room nearby, the Republican majority is marking up their new Republican budget proposal.
They say this budget is going to be good for America, and good for senior citizens who worked hard all their lives to earn their retirement benefits.
However, the details of their bill reveal a different story.
Republicans don’t just plan on cutting Medicare, they plan on destroying it.
According to a Wall Street Journal article published on Monday, the Republican plan would “essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.”
In other words, the Republican budget is not a reform budget, it is a termination budget.
Furthermore, the Republican budget plan would transform Medicare from its current format to a privatized voucher system where future health care cost increases get thrown on the back of America’s seniors.
The median income for a senior is just a little over $19,000 a year. Many will not be able to pay more for health care or the costs of long-term care on their own.
And the alleged savings under the Republican budget plan will come from denying medical care to seniors.
Just a few weeks ago Majority Leader Cantor said, and again I quote, “We're going to have to come to grips with the fact that programs like Medicare cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.”
Well, what Democrats want America to be is one that fights for our seniors, not one that robs them of their savings or denies them healthcare.
And Democrats want America to be a country where seniors earn and receive a dignified retirement.
That is why Democrats will continue to fight to protect the dignity of America’s seniors from this cruel Republican budget.
Speech taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI-tkc4wBug.