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Rep. Napolitano Vows to Protect Medicare from Budget Cuts

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Location: Washington, DC

Today, in advance of Medicare's 46th anniversary on Saturday, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) joined Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and other Democratic members of Congress in maintaining their efforts to protect Medicare from potential budget cuts.

"Medicare has been a critical source of healthcare and support for seniors for the last 46 years," Napolitano said. "Republicans have threatened to place Medicare on the budget-cut chopping block this Congress time and time again. It is outrageous to threaten to cut critical healthcare services for seniors, many of whom are totally dependent on them for survival, while at the same time preserving unnecessary tax breaks and loopholes for millionaires and billionaires. Our seniors did not create this budget mess, and they should not be asked to sacrifice the peace and dignity of their later years in order to clean it up. Remember that not too long ago, we were asked to have faith and put our Social Security into Wall Street's hands. Lesson learned -- private insurance companies are no different, and they cannot be trusted with Medicare to do the right thing. I join my Democratic colleagues in this battle to protect Medicare for seniors and for future generations."

In April, House Republicans passed Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan for 2012, which would change Medicare from a guaranteed care program to a voucher program, raising healthcare costs for seniors by at least $6,000 and placing them at the mercy of the private insurance market in their later years. Last week, House Republicans again attacked Medicare in their "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill, which reaffirmed the GOP budget and would require the government to reduce expenditures to levels last seen in 1966, the year seniors first began to enter Medicare.

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on Speaker John Boehner's latest Republican bill, which is expected to repeat the same priorities.

In 2005, then-President George W. Bush pushed to have Social Security funds invested in the stock market, a move towards privatization that would have proved disastrous during the financial meltdown of 2008.


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