When Paul Ryan arrived in Bellevue last night for a big-dollar fundraiser to support his campaign for tax cuts for the 1%, the 99% were there to “welcome” him to Washington — by showing him & his 1% backers that we reject the brutal budget cuts that are being pushed at the federal and state levels.
Paul Ryan’s budget privatizes Medicare and forces seniors to use a voucher to purchase private insurance (which is more costly than traditional Medicare). This would increase 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.
In addition, Ryan’s budget would convert Medicaid into a state block grant, cutting $810 billion from care over the next decade and putting at risk seniors, children and people with disabilities. These brutal cuts to health care come at the same time that Ryan proposes extending additional tax breaks to millionaires, on top of the tax breaks they already receive from the Bush tax cuts.
The similarities between the Ryan budget and the McKenna agenda are striking: both would force brutal cuts to Medicaid, both want the elderly and disabled to pay more for the health care, and both have opposed proposals to close corporate tax loopholes that would make the top 1% pay their fair share.
A group of 50 Washington CAN! members and allies (Fuse, Working Washington and Planned Parenthood Votes NW) attended the protest and we all gathered in front of a giant visual calling on Ryan and McKenna to stop cutting working families. We also had a fat cat in tow that was holding giant scissors to depict how the wealthy are pulling the strings of the GOP. The importance of everyone paying their fair share to help get our country back on track was a dominant theme as community members shared their struggles to afford health care and find good jobs.
Although McKenna did not attend the Ryan fundraiser due to a conflicting event, his budget, his agenda, and the 1% contributors who bankroll his campaign were there. In fact, Bellevue multi-billionaires Bruce & Jolene McCaw, who are hosting a private Ryan fundraiser today, have already given the maximum legal donation to McKenna’s campaign for Governor.
The Ryan & McKenna agendas would not lead our country or state in the right direction. It’s time for us to move forward, not backwards. In order to do that we need to invest in the health and well-being of our communities.