U.S. Rep. Ron Kind today voted against the economically irresponsible Republican budget that not only privatizes Medicare but also provides tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
"It is critical that we agree on a budget that puts our country on a sound fiscal path but I refuse to do that on the backs of seniors and disadvantaged Americans," said Rep. Kind. "The Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it -- forcing seniors into private health care plans and doubling their out of pocket expenses -- all while giving tax breaks to wealthy Wall Street bankers and large subsidies to Big Oil. This is not responsible to our seniors and not the way to address our budget challenges."
The Republican budget proposal would do away with traditional Medicare for everyone under age 55 and replace it with a voucher program that would force seniors to find health care for themselves and increase their health care expenses. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that the GOP plan would cause seniors to "bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the traditional program". CBO also found that the GOP plan would more than double the typical senior's out-of-pocket health care spending in 2022, compared to what their costs would be under traditional Medicare -- increasing their out-of-pocket costs by more than $6,000.
"To reduce health care costs, we need to reform our health care system to pay for the value of care given and not the volume of care," said Kind. "I refuse to ask 33 seniors in western Wisconsin to pay an additional $6,000 a year for health care so President Obama can receive a $200,000 tax break. That's wrong and there are better ways to reduce our nation's debt."
The budget also slashes support of seniors in nursing homes and makes deep cuts in Medicaid while making tax cuts for the wealthiest permanent -- adding $1 trillion to the deficit.