• WisPolitics


Thursday, May 19, 2011

 5:49 PM 

Baldwin, Pelosi rip House GOP Medicare proposal

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaking in Waunakee, blasted Republican efforts to “gut Medicare” and roll back other health care provisions for older Americans.

Pelosi said concern over changes to Medicare has “exploded” as an issue in recent weeks.

“While we must reduce the deficit, create jobs and strengthen the middle class, we can’t say we are going to get the funds to do that from Medicare,” she said.

“That’s a false economy to say you won’t have preventive care for seniors or that you'll save money be telling seniors to take a voucher and go shop in the private sector for insurance.”

The congresswomen were joined by Waunakee senior advocate Joan Ruppenthal, a retired public health nurse, who said she believes Medicare should be strengthened.

“Medicare is kind of like a puppy dog,” she said. “It gives you unconditional love. They accept everyone, and private insurance companies do not do that. Medicare is a lifeline for a lot of people. Why destroy something that is working so well now?”

Baldwin called Medicare one of the nation’s “most successful and valued programs” that has kept seniors from “living out their days in poverty.”

And she praised Medicare as a “contract we make with our seniors that if you work hard, play by the rules and contribute a fair share in your earning years, then you will have medical care in your senior years.”

The congresswoman said she saw first-hand how Medicare helped her grandmother, who raised her from infancy, when she became elderly and frail.

“Because of Medicare, I was able to care for her and establish my own career not saddled by debt,” she said.

Baldwin said the Republican plan passed by the House and authored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville, would cut benefits and force seniors to buy insurance on their own.

“According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, most elderly people would pay more for medical care and get less than they do under Medicare.”

In addition, she said the Republican budget would roll back reforms passed by Congress last year and re-open the Part D prescription drug donut hole.

“Seniors would immediately begin paying higher costs for their medications. And, under their plan, the cost to beneficiaries of Medicare coverage would rise dramatically.

“Not one dollar of that increase in beneficiary costs goes to reducing the deficit ," she charged. "It all goes to cover the higher costs of private plans that the Republicans would force seniors to join. “

Quoting Lyndon Johnson, who was president when Medicare was enacted in 1965, Pelosi called the program “a pillar of economic security” for seniors.

She also criticized Republican efforts to cut preventive care included in Medicare, which she said lowers costs, and asked “now you tell me how that’s a good idea for reducing the deficit?

“We all know that we need to reduce the deficit, but not how the Republic budget would do it,” she added. “Cutting Medicare while giving tax breaks to Big Oil and corporations that send jobs overseas is not fair. It’s selfish."

Baldwin also said today she's still considering a possible run for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl.

"I'm undertaking a serious evaluation, and I will let you know the result in the future," she said.

Pelosi said she'd be sad to see Baldwin leave the House, but argued that the Madison congresswoman would be a strong advocate for Wisconsin in the Senate. She said she has no idea if Baldwin will go after Kohl's seat.

"Her timing is her timing, and she let us know that from the start," Pelosi said.

Baldwin praised Kohl for his work to improve health care for older Americans.

"As a champion for seniors, he will be irreplaceable," she said. "He is joining in the fight to make sure we continue the promise of Medicare."

-- By Brian E. Clark
For WisPolitics.com


Back to DC Wrap main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

DC Wrap site feed


Advertisement
Advertisement

wispolitics.com Social News

Follow Us

ABOUT THE BLOG

WisPolitics coverage of news from the nation's capital.

BLOG CONTRIBUTORS
JR Ross, David Wise

· DC Wrap site feed (RSS)

· Sign up for email delivery of the weekly DC Wrap column

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

SENATE
· Tammy Baldwin (D)
· Ron Johnson (R)

HOUSE
· 1st CD: Paul Ryan (R)
· 2nd CD: Mark Pocan (D)
· 3rd CD: Ron Kind (D)
· 4th CD: Gwen Moore (D)
· 5th CD: F. James Sensenbrenner (R)
· 6th CD: Glenn Grothman (R)
· 7th CD: Sean Duffy (R)
· 8th CD: Reid Ribble (R)

CONGRESSIONAL VOTE TRACKING

WISPOLITICS.COM D.C. PROFILES

· July 2013: Wood's 2001 DC inauguration trip turned into new career
· May 2013: Hard work propels Berens from Doyle to Pelosi to DGA
· March 2013: Riemann uses PR skills, 'lunch-pail work ethic' to boost state interests in D.C.
· Feb. 2013: Stocks seeks to remake NEA as 'more than a traditional labor union'
· Dec. 2012: As modest Kohl bids farewell to Senate, others do the bragging
· Dec. 2012: Wisconsin experience provides guideposts to Priebus at RNC

ARCHIVE

· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· June 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· September 2016
· October 2016
· November 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2012 WisPolitics.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisBusiness.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications