All across the country, Republicans are engaging their constituents about the GOP budget that will help boost our economy and create new jobs, lift the crushing burden of debt that threatens our future, and preserve critical health and retirement programs for America’s seniors.
While Democrats have made false claims about the GOP plan, their strategy to scare senior citizens isn’t working. Republicans were ready to engage their constituents during this two-week district work period and ready to answer questions about our plan. In fact, when Republicans explain how our plan preserves and protects Medicare, the response has been favorable. For example:
A new national survey by Gallup says “[p]luralities of middle-aged Americans as well as those 65 and older prefer Ryan's plan to Obama’s,” with seniors preferring the GOP plan by a 48-42 margin.
A CBS/New York Times poll recently found that when asked whether “Medicare should be changed from a program in which the government pays doctors and hospitals for treating seniors to a program in which the government helps seniors purchase private health insurance,” 47 percent say yes, 41 percent say no.
Under the GOP plan, there will be no changes and no disruptions to benefits for Americans over the age of 55, and future beneficiaries will have access to the same kinds of options as Members of Congress. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells the story of a Wisconsin townhall where Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) explained the facts about the GOP plan to his constituents:
“Several at the Oak Creek meeting said they were confused about Medicare and whether it would end under Ryan's plan. Ryan set them straight, explaining that his proposed changes to Medicare would affect those under 55. He said his intent was to preserve the program, which otherwise is expected to be insolvent in nine years.
“‘We need to reform it for the next generation to preserve it,’ Ryan said, adding the reformed plan would work like Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan that encourages competition for the best rates.
“Tanya Soich of Franklin said she attended sessions in both Franklin and Oak Creek because she wanted to make sure she understood Ryan's position on Medicare. Her mother-in-law was concerned it would end, she said.
“‘Now I can have the confidence to tell her that she's taken care of, as well as my children,’ said Soich.
In contrast, the facts show that the President’s plan will ultimately guarantee deep and painful Medicare cuts for seniors:
The President’s budget does nothing, guaranteeing benefit cuts for seniors. FactCheck.org reported that “if nothing is done, when those trust funds are exhausted, benefits would have to be cut by 22 percent in 2037, and more each year after that, according to the most recent report of the system’s trustees. By 2084, the system will generate only enough revenue to pay for 75 percent of promised benefit levels.”
The president would also rely on the IPAB – an unelected “rationing board” – to force hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts in addition to the hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts Democrats used to finance ObamaCare. The Wall Street Journal says this will lead to “the political rationing of care for the elderly, as now occurs in Britain,” and many doctors and hospitals may “drop out of Medicare” altogether.