The budget plans developed by vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and embraced by Mitt Romney would privatize Medicare and gut Medicaid, all while showering the wealthy with tax breaks.
After decades of providing the rich with tax breaks, we’re facing a recession of epic proportions and are seeing wealth continue to be consolidated in the top 1%. It’s clear that trickle down economics only benefits the wealthy and does nothing to stimulate our economy.
Due to our economic reality, the majority of families have very little financial stability and anyone could lose their job at any moment. In times like this, our safety net is critically important and should not be subject to the whims of politicians.
The values of the Romney/Ryan budget do not embrace the values we share as a community and stand in direct opposition to what our families need to stay healthy and thrive. The massive restructuring of Medicare and Medicaid in the Romney/Ryan budget threatens us all and puts into question the mantra that if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be rewarded.
The Romney/Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it and double out-of-pocket costs for seniors by:
- Privatizing Medicare & forcing seniors to use a voucher to purchase private insurance (which is more costly than traditional Medicare)
- Increasing out-of-pocket health care costs for a typical 65 year-old Washington senior by $5,354 in 2022 – more than double the cost under the current law
- Raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67
People have paid into Medicare their whole lives with the understanding that it will be there when they need it. Today seniors pay 25% of the cost of their health care, in 2030 under the Romney/Ryan budget; seniors would pay 68% of the cost of their health care. For the majority of seniors who are living on a fixed income, this is a real threat to their quality of life.
The Romney/Ryan budget would shred the Medicaid safety net by:
- Converting Medicaid into a state block grant that would cut $810 billion from care over the next decade, putting at risk seniors, children and people with disabilities
- Eliminating benefits for 30 million people
- Costing Washington at least 23,800 private-sector jobs over the next five years
- Shifting costs to state budgets, leading to dramatic pay cuts for hospitals, doctors and community clinics
The Romney/Ryan budget does not look out for the needs of the 99% and in fact directly puts the needs of the 1% over the needs of the 99%. In addition to completely restructuring our health care system and threatening the stability we all seek in life, the Romney/Ryan budget gives additional tax breaks to millionaires (on top of the tax breaks they already receive from the Bush tax cuts).
This is a choice between two fundamentally different visions of where we need to go as a country. One one hand, we’re all in this together. We can retire with dignity, respect, and peace of mind. On the other – you are on your own. Which would you choose?