What Outside Groups Are Saying About the FY 2013 Republican Budget and the Latest GOP Plan to End the Medicare Guarantee
➢"This is a budget that doubles-down on an ideological quest to turn Medicare into a privatized voucher program – stacking the deck against traditional Medicare and creating a death spiral leading to its demise. Under the GOP/Ryan plan, if seniors want the same level of coverage and access to health providers they've had in the past, they'll have to pay more. If they can't pay more, they'll have to settle for less."
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, March 20, 2012
➢"However, rather than recognizing that health care is an unavoidable necessity which must be made more affordable for all Americans, this proposal simply shifts these high and growing costs onto Medicare beneficiaries, and it then shifts even higher costs of increased uninsured care onto everyone else. The typical Medicare beneficiary today, living on an income of roughly $20,000, already struggles to pay for their ever-rising health and prescription drug costs – and nearly 20 percent of their income currently goes to health care costs. By creating a "premium support" system for future Medicare beneficiaries, the proposal is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare's promise of secure health coverage – a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work."
AARP, March 21, 2012
➢"The House Republicans' budget and Medicare proposals are out . . . and we've heard this before. . . Yet again the Republican plan would dismantle Medicare and hand older and disabled people a voucher toward the cost of private insurance. It's not a new or creative idea, and it will actually add more costs to families and to our nation's bottom line . . . As private plans aggressively court the healthiest and least costly beneficiaries, the traditional Medicare program would be left with an ever dwindling pool of beneficiaries – those who are too sick and poor to purchase private insurance with the help of Mr. Ryan's coupon. In time, Medicare will ‘wither on the vine,' as those who oppose the program have long intended."
Center for Medicare Advocacy, March 20, 2012
➢"Let's be clear, the budget introduced today by Representative Ryan is still a voucher plan that ends the Medicare program as we know it. The budget may include a few new provisions compared to 2011, but the premise is still exactly the same – Medicare beneficiaries … pay more for health care and the federal government pays a lot less. The proposal replaces Medicare's guaranteed benefits with a "premium support" payment that consumers can use to buy private insurance or, in a new twist, the traditional Original Medicare program. However, there is no guarantee that the subsidy or voucher would match the rate at which health care costs increase. This means that in order to buy adequate coverage, people with Medicare and their families will need to pay more out of pocket."
Medicare Rights Center, March 20, 2012
➢"The House Republican budget proposal fundamentally transforms Medicare . . . Seniors and people with disabilities would receive a fixed amount of money to purchase health insurance through private plans or traditional Medicare, and each year, the portion of the premium that would be paid by Medicare would get smaller and smaller and the portion paid by seniors would grow larger and larger."
Families USA, March 20, 2012
➢"The Republican budget . . . ends Medicare as we know it to give massive tax breaks to the super-rich. Their budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, tear down the safety net and shift massive costs to the states. . . The message from Republicans is that America is doomed unless we abandon the American Dream. The Republicans are offering a second-rate vision for a first-rate country."
Health Care for America Now, March 20, 2012
➢"The Ryan plan would . . . replace Medicare's guarantee of health coverage with premium-support payments to seniors … that they would use to buy coverage from private insurance companies or traditional Medicare. … Under the Ryan budget, moreover, Medicare would no longer make payments to health care providers such as doctors and hospitals; it would instead provide premium-support vouchers to beneficiaries that they'd use to help buy coverage from private insurance companies or traditional Medicare. Therefore, the only way to keep Medicare cost growth within the GDP +0.5 percentage-point target would be to limit the annual increase in the government's premium-support vouchers. That would very likely cause the vouchers to grow more slowly than health care costs – and hence purchase less coverage with each passing year. Over time, more costs would likely be pushed on to beneficiaries."
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 20, 2012
➢"The budget proposed today by House Republicans is a blueprint of what our country would look like under their control – a government of, by and for the 1% . . . There's nothing courageous about cutting Social Security and Medicare for seniors in order to cut taxes for the super-wealthy. House Republicans have dropped all pretenses and laid out their plan to destroy Medicare and Social Security. This plan would end Medicare as we know it and shift the health care cost burden to seniors, and it endorses significant cuts in Social Security benefits for middle class seniors."
AFL-CIO, March 20, 2012
On the Social Safety Net and Shared Responsibility:
➢"It is deeply troubling that, in the name of deficit reduction, there is absolutely no shared sacrifice. The House Budget proposes to decimate the Medicaid program, taking away essential health and long term services and support for our middle and low income citizens, while providing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. It should be called the ‘fend for yourself' budget."
The Arc, March 20, 2012
➢"The budget put forth by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan pursues a dangerous vision . . . Nearly everything shrinks in this vision of America, but two things grow: military spending and tax cuts for the richest Americans. . . The shift of resources away from most Americans to the very rich is breathtaking."
Coalition on Human Needs, March 21, 2012
➢"The budget . . . proposes devastating cuts to programs especially important to women and their families: Medicare, Medicaid, child care, education, SNAP – and much more. At the same time, it proposes trillions in new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations on top of the disproportionate benefits the very wealthy would receive from extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts."
National Women's Law Center, March 27, 2012
➢"Rep. Ryan's proposal would gut the essential protections of Medicaid, opening the door for states to completely eliminate the family planning services it provides . . . [It] overlooks the fact that investing in family planning actually helps reduce the deficit. Studies show that for every public dollar invested in family planning programs, taxpayers save nearly $4."
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, March 20, 2012
On Education and Training:
➢"It is morally unacceptable and economically indefensible for House Republicans to put forth a budget that doubles down on a cuts-only approach to our economy at a time when our children and families continue to struggle to get by . . . This budget prioritizes huge tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations, while likely cutting money from public education and programs such as Title I that go directly to support low-income children in the classroom. It would end Medicare as we know it and leave seniors without access to affordable, high-quality health care, and it would make college more costly."
American Federation of Teachers, March 20, 2012
➢"Yet Chairman Ryan's FY 2013 budget resolution appears to nearly eliminate funding for federal job training programs that help U.S. workers and employers obtain critical workforce skills – reducing budget authority for Function 500 programs by more than $16 billion (22 percent) compared to FY 2012 – while also proposing major funding cuts to Pell Grants for low-income students. These proposed cuts simply could not come at a worse time for our nation's economic growth and competitiveness."
Campaign to Invest in America's Workforce, March 27, 2012
On National Security:
➢"As retired flag and general officers from all branches of the Armed Services, we urge you to support a strong FY13 International Affairs Budget and to oppose disproportionate cuts to this vital account. We firmly believe the development and diplomacy programs in the International Affairs Budget are critical to America's national security."
Military Leaders' Letter to Congress, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, March 27, 2012
➢"A 10% cut for FY 2013, as proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), would undermine current efforts to make the delivery of aid even more effective, transparent and accountable. At a time when our military is disengaging from two wars, people in North Africa and the Middle East are fighting to build democracies, and humanitarian crises continue around the world, we need to be stepping up our civilian international engagement, not pulling back."
InterAction, March 22, 2012