The Ryan Budget & Medicare

Vivianne Falcone
Vivianne Falcone for Congress

The House budget drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan would end Medicare as we know it. Instead of a defined benefit plan run through Medicare, seniors would receive an $8000 voucher to purchase private health insurance in the open market. This will increase out-of-pocket health care costs for a typical 65 year-old senior by more than $6,000 by 2022. That is more than double the cost under current law.

Over time, out-of-pocket health care costs paid by seniors by 2030 will climb to about $11,000. Finally under the Ryan budget, Medicare's eligibility age would rise from 65-67 from 2022 to 2033. So if you are a baby boomer who leaves the workforce at 62 or 65, by choice or by being laid off from work, you will not be eligible for Medicare. You will have to buy insurance coverage on your own until you can get your voucher at 67.

Peter King supports this budget, which also would cut spending on virtually everything but the Pentagon while still spending more than the Treasury takes in by providing $1 trillion in tax breaks for the wealthy and profitable corporations.

So called ‘entitlement programs’ were designed to protect working people from destitution in their old age. Yes, we are entitled to our Social Security and Medicare…we paid into them all of our working lives.

The Ryan budget makes it clear that there are two ways to look at our country. We are either going to all be on our own, individuals facing a powerful marketplace, giving us ever-rising costs and ever decreasing coverage, or we can be a country that takes care of our seniors.

After a lifetime of hard work building the American economy, I think our seniors deserve the comfort of knowing that Medicare will be there for them.