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Mrs. CAPPS. I thank my colleague from New York for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the majority's misguided budget.
Forty-seven years ago when seniors were the most uninsured group in our Nation, we made a promise that their health care would be guaranteed; and because of that promise, millions of older Americans today have quality, affordable health care, and they and their families have peace of mind. But the majority's budget seems to break that promise by ending Medicare as we know it.
Instead of a guarantee, seniors would get a hope and a prayer, otherwise known as a voucher. This voucher, fixed in price, would be worth less and less each year, and health care costs incurred by individual seniors would increase by at least $6,000 a year.
Their plan would raise Medicare's eligibility age, delaying the promise of a sound retirement for millions of working Americans, and the bill would whack away at Medicaid which provides long-term care for low-income seniors and the disabled and pass the buck to cash-strapped States where its future would be uncertain in tough budgetary times like today.
Mr. Speaker, those promoting this plan to end Medicare argue that we have no choice if we want to bring down our deficits, but their plan doesn't bring down health care costs. It just shifts those costs onto the backs of our Nation's seniors.
Today's seniors will lose important benefits that they currently enjoy today, like access to free preventive screenings and reduced prescription drug costs through the closing of the doughnut hole under ObamaCare, a term I am proud to use. The plan would weaken Medicare itself. As the voucher program draws off healthier, younger seniors, it leaves behind the oldest and sickest, those the private insurance market won't cover.
This plan will cause untold harm to our Nation's seniors and their families who today rely upon Medicare for the promise of quality, affordable health care.
You know, 47 years ago we did make a promise, a promise that is working for millions of American seniors and their families. We cannot break that promise. I urge my colleagues to oppose the majority's budget, the Ryan budget.
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