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Stop the Raid; Repeal the Rationing Board; Save Medicare

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin Remarks from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives

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Washington, Jun 1, 2011 | comments


Watch Ryan's Remarks

I understand why this might be confusing to my friends on the other side of the aisle. After all they didn’t bother to pass a budget last year. Our friends on the other side of the rotunda in the Senate didn’t bother to pass a budget this year.

We have a budget crisis. We’ve got a $1.5 trillion deficit. We’ve got a debt that is getting out of our control. And what do you do when you have a problem like that? You pass a budget.

We passed a budget. And we are acknowledging and living within that budget. If our friends on the other side of the aisle bothered to pass a budget we wouldn’t be in the situation we are today.

Now let’s discuss about what our budget does and what it does not do.

Because we face a debt crisis we think we have a moral obligation to our constituents, to our children, and to our grandchildren to put our budget on a path to balance and to pay off our national debt. We also think we need to put our economy on a path to prosperity to help spur job creation.

Let’s for a moment talk about Medicare. Medicare as we know is already gone. Our friends on the other side of the aisle – when they passed the Affordable Care Act – stopped the Medicare status quo.

The President’s new health care law already ended Medicare as know it. It does two things: It raids Medicare; and it rations Medicare.

Obamacare Raids Medicare: It takes over $500 billion from Medicare to spend on the President’s new health care law, not to extend Medicare’s solvency. Just as people have complained for years that we are raiding the Social Security Trust Fund, the President’s health care law does that to Medicare now.

Obamacare Rations Medicare: Starting next year, the President will appoint 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to price control and to ration Medicare for current seniors.

Status Quo Bankrupts Medicare: What’s worse is the President and Senate still have yet to put out a plan to save Medicare to prevent it from going bankrupt.

  1. We stop the raid of Medicare in our budget and make sure that $500 billion stays with Medicare to advance its solvency.

  2. We repeal the Medicare rationing board so we don’t put bureaucrats in charge of determining what kind of health care benefits seniors do or do not get.

  3. We save Medicare. If you are on Medicare or if your ten years away from retiring – 55 and above - government already made a promise to you. We want government to keep that promise. Under our budget we keep that promise.

We stop the raid. We repeal the rationing board. And for those of us 54 and below who have a bankrupt system that we right now cannot count on, we reform Medicare so it works like the system Members of Congress and federal employees have.  It is a system that looks like Medicare Advantage or the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program today: seniors get a choice of plans offered to them by Medicare – guaranteed coverage options – from which they can choose and Medicare subsidizes that plan. It doesn’t subsidize people as much if they are wealthy and subsidizes them a lot more if they are low income or sick.

This saves Medicare. This puts Medicare on a path to solvency. And more importantly, by saving it for future generations, we can keep our promises to current seniors.

We stop the raid. We repeal the rationing board. And we save the program. That is what our budget proposes to do.

But with respect to the rule before the House today, we are talking about discretionary spending. We are talking about paying the bills for all those different government agencies for the next fiscal year.

We simply think Congress should function the way the Founders envisioned and American families expect: we actually pass budgets; we actually scrutinize spending; and we actually finance government’s functions and its agencies.

We’re not ducking our responsibility – we’re passing our budgets. Today’s rule is required simply because of the fact that nobody else around here seems to be bothered with passing budgets. The President hasn’t put out a plan to fix the problem and the Senate – for a second year in a row – failed to even pass a budget.

We are leading. We are saving Medicare. We are getting the debt under control. And we are working to create jobs in this economy. We are governing by actually paying the bills and passing our appropriation bills.

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To watch the remarks from the House floor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crjPmlhSYsw
To learn more: http://budget.house.gov/

 

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