Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, in 1965 this body voted to create Medicare and Medicaid to ensure that all seniors and disabled Americans would always have access to health coverage, and those today expect the same kind of coverage for themselves and their children.
But over the years, my Republican colleagues have tried to weaken the programs and privatize safety nets like Social Security. Sadly, history is repeating itself. Instead of focusing on priorities, like creating jobs and lowering gas prices, Republicans have put forward an agenda that ends Medicare as we know it.
So far this year, Republicans have voted--and we can't say they haven't. They have voted to eliminate guaranteed Medicare coverage for seniors, convert Medicare to a voucher program, reopen the prescription drug doughnut hole, and extend tax breaks for big oil companies that ship jobs overseas. Even worse, new data shows the Republican budget will kick 44 million low-income Americans off Medicaid.
We must stop this insanity. Let's work together to preserve Medicare and lower the deficit.