On Medicare Vouchers and Cuts

Medicare is the main issue for both major political parties. Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s platform is to privatize Medicare and gut Medicaid, but Republicans are not alone in their attacks on our social safety net. Ryan developed his Medicare plan with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden last year.

Ryan’s proposal (deceptively titled the “Path to Prosperity”) would change Medicare as we know it. He would:
– Raise the eligibility age to 67.
– Give seniors a set amount of money (a voucher) to purchase private insurance.
– Keep voucher payments from increasing in tandem with the rising costs of insurance premiums.

This means that seniors and the disabled would be paying more and more out of pocket for their healthcare. A Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates that seniors would pay 61% of their healthcare costs out of pocket by 2022 (as opposed to 27% if Medicare stayed as is).

Paul Ryan’s so-called “Path to Prosperity” is immoral, inhumane, and ineffective.

Meanwhile, an Obama victory doesn’t necessarily mean we’re safe from cuts. As Dean Baker explains, a “corporate CEO crew” is already orchestrating back room schemes to cut entitlements no matter who wins the election.

We know that Medicare works and should be expanded to cover everyone in the US. Thanks to Medicare, 97% of Americans 65 and older now have healthcare, and poverty among the elderly has been reduced by nearly two-thirds. Medicare is efficient–spending only 2% on administrative overhead compared to private insurance’s 17%.

It is up to us to refute politicians’ false rhetoric, and educate our community members on how Medicare is the solution, not the problem.

We urge you to go to candidates’ events across the country and tell them in person — and in front of press and hundreds of potential constituents — how you feel about their proposed cuts to our social insurance programs. This kind of on-the-spot interaction can be highly effective and very empowering. Go here for a list of campaign stops for both the Democratic and Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Here is a handout you can use to help educate people on the benefits of Medicare and the human costs of Ryan’s budget proposal at these events or others.

For more information on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and how they are being threatened, you can check out these great articles:
Ryan’s “premium support” proposal for Medicare: Myths and facts
VP Pick Ryan’s Plan Would Be Path to the Poorhouse
Medicare: A National Treasure (.pdf)
Medicare: A Profile (.pdf)

Please take a minute to send an email to Congress and the President saying we must protect Medicare and expand it to everyone. Then forward this link to your friends asking them to sign as well: http://bit.ly/m3MIxm

Or just go to the action page and click on the Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ icons to share.

We know the only way to save Medicare is to improve it and expand it to everyone. Help us protect Medicare now so we can improve it in the future.


  1. Raymond Griffin on November 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Do you have local chapters of your organization…if so…is there one in Albuquerque, NM?