Today Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) voted to protect Medicare and its guarantee of quality and affordable health care for Central Coast senior citizens.
Capps opposed the so-called "Ryan Budget," which would end Medicare's 47 year of guarantee of health care coverage for seniors by gradually turning the program into a voucher program. Today, upon reaching age 65 seniors are automatically enrolled in Medicare and are guaranteed coverage for a wide variety of health care services. Under the "Ryan Budget" seniors would not be eligible to join Medicare until age 67 and be given a fixed-amount voucher to cover part of the cost of a health plan. Since the voucher would not increase with inflation, it would be worth less each year and seniors would bear an increasing share of Medicare's costs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis shows that this plan would increase seniors' health care costs by thousands of dollars.
The "Ryan Budget" would also end a number of benefits seniors currently enjoy under recently enacted health care reform legislation. These benefits include no-cost preventive services, such as mammograms and yearly wellness visits, and lower prescription drug costs now being realized by thousands of Central Coast seniors through the closing of Medicare's "donut-hole." Reopening the donut hole alone will increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs by an average of over $10,000 over the next ten years.
Today I voted to preserve Medicare's guarantee of quality and affordable health care for seniors up and down the Central Coast. Forty-seven years ago, when seniors were the most uninsured group in our nation, our nation made a promise that their health care would be guaranteed. Because of that promise millions of older Americans have quality, affordable health care, and they and their families have peace of mind. The Ryan budget seeks to break that promise by ending Medicare as we know it. I can't support a plan that will endanger seniors' health care coverage and that's what this plan does," said Capps.
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