Washington, DC -- Congressman Brad Sherman released the following statement concerning the Republican plan to seriously undermine Medicare benefits.
“Earlier this week the House Republican leader on budget issues, Chairman Paul Ryan, released the budget plan of Republicans in the House of Representatives. The plan slashes corporate tax rates and pays for it by slashing Medicare. I agree with the AARP’s condemnation of the proposal.”
The AARP stated on April 5:
“The [Republican] Chairman's proposal, rather than tackling skyrocketing health care costs, would simply shift these costs onto the backs of people in Medicare. It would undermine Medicare's promise of secure health coverage---a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work. If Congress is serious about reining in Medicare costs, it can start by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and speeding up access to generic versions of expensive biologic drugs.
“…If we're serious about lowering health care costs, we cannot just look to Medicare for savings. We must improve the delivery of health care, including better coordination of care, and remove waste from the entire health care system.
“Any changes to Social Security must be focused on ensuring the retirement security of present and future retirees, and not simply to reduce the deficit. AARP agrees that protecting and strengthening Social Security must be done on a bipartisan basis, and we welcome the opportunity to continue the conversation with our membership and all Americans about how to achieve that goal.
“As we tackle our nation's fiscal challenges, we urge that we not upend crucial programs that will come at the cost of seniors' health and financial security. We will work with leaders on both sides of the aisle to discuss proposals with the goal of enhancing the health and income security of older Americans and their families.”
“I agree with the AARP that we must work to balance our nation’s budget. This requires that we grow our economy, eliminate unnecessary government spending and close corporate tax loopholes.
“We should not dismantle Medicare in order to balance the federal budget. As to the Social Security Trust Fund, we must remember that it belongs to the working people who contributed to Social Security—it is not the government’s money, and it is not available to be used to balance the federal budget.
“I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to put our fiscal house in order. I co-founded the CPA caucus, a bi-partisan group of members of the House of Representatives who are certified public accounts and are bringing a CPA approach to the Federal budget.
“But dismantling Medicare or turning it into a voucher program, or privatizing Social Security, will hurt seniors and will do little to balance the federal budget.”