Donald Trump is about to break yet another campaign promise, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan promises a Youngstown street fight in the capitol.
A battle is brewing in Washington over the future of Medicare. Donald Trump has signaled that he is about to break yet another campaign promise and join Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in his quest to privatize Medicare by turning it into a voucher program. Before Republicans strip Americans of the popular government-run system, Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan stands poised to stop the plan.
Rep. Ryan stated in an interview last week on CNN’s “State of the Union” that, while Democrats are willing to try to work with incoming President-elect Donald Trump, they are prepared for battle if he doesn’t keep his promises to the middle class.
“If he tries to defund Planned Parenthood, if he tries to kick people off their health insurance, if he tries to privatize Medicare and cut taxes for the wealthy, we are going to have a ‘Youngstown street fight’ in the Capitol,” Rep. Ryan stated.
Monday, on MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell‘, Tim Ryan said, “People Who Voted For Trump Didn’t Sign Up For Privatizing Medicare.”
And he’s right, because Trump said just the opposite on the campaign trail.
According to NPR, “Trump said little about Medicare during his campaign, other than to promise that he wouldn’t cut it. Speaker Paul Ryan, on the other hand, has Medicare in his sights.
“Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke,” Speaker Ryan said in an interview on Fox News on Nov. 10. “So you have to deal with those issues if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
However, Paul Ryan’s statement is completely false. Medicare is NOT going “broke.” In fact, Obamacare has made the program stronger and well funded through 2028.
Rep. Tim Ryan warned back in 2011 that Republican plans to privatize Medicare would be a disaster for seniors.
As Politifact reported, “Republican Paul Ryan’s budget blue print suggests retaining the current Medicare system for people who are currently over age 55 but giving future retirees a “premium support payment” they could use to purchase private insurance, prompting Democrats to accuse the GOP of attempting to dismantle Medicare. Those on the House Energy and Commerce Committee even put out a report that purports to outline the amount of extra Medicare costs that the new program would require taxpayers in every congressional district to pay.”
Taking Medicare as we know it away from seniors is likely to cause lawmakers on both sides of the aisle problems with their constituents, so Speaker Paul Ryan is planning to use a parliamentary reconciliation procedure to dismantle Medicare and Obamacare simultaneously. Once passed in the House, reconciliation would allow senate Republicans to pass the measure with a filibuster-proof simple majority of just 51 votes.
Speaker Ryan’s claims that turning Medicare into Obamacare would reduce the federal deficit, but his numbers don’t add up. In the Republican budget plan, any savings from cutting health care costs are offset by tax cuts for the rich, which also makes the deficit even worse.
Politico asked the question, “Why would a self-professed fiscal hawk ignore the true drivers of the long-term debt? People close to Ryan say it came down to politics…. To placate nervous seniors, the reform wouldn’t apply to anyone currently aged 55 or older.”
So, Speaker Ryan is planning to trick seniors into going along with privatizing Medicare by deceiving them about the solvency of the program and pushing off the effective date to well past the next election. By the time voters figure out they’ve been conned, it will be too late.
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is joining Tim Ryan to block Republican efforts to change Medicare into a voucher program, by making sure that Americans learn the truth about Donald Trump and Speaker Ryan’s scheme.
Pelosi told Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, “History might repeat itself, if House Speaker Paul Ryan — with Donald Trump’s blessing — makes good on his hints to press forward with his plans to privatize Medicare. Pelosi vowed that Democrats would remain united in the battle to stop Ryan’s plan, a goal she described as crucial to defeating it, just as unity enabled Dems to block Bush’s Social Security plan.”
Rep. Tim Ryan also pointed out that Democrats were prepared to remind voters before the next election which party was trying to protect their Medicare, and which was scheming to take it away.
To contact your member of Congress, call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
*** Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit” This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destinies are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book, available now on Amazon.com.