U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) today hosted a town hall meeting at the Devonshire of Lisle to highlight her support for proposals to safeguard, improve, and strengthen Medicare for current and future seniors. Nearly 50 people attended the event, which is the fourth senior town hall Biggert has hosted in recent months to discuss the House-passed budget plan to bring down the nation's $15 trillion debt and prevent a collapse in Medicare funding. In April she visited Spring Meadows in Naperville and McKenzie Falls in Bolingbrook and in March she met with seniors at Lake Hinsdale in WIllowbrook.
"Our massive debt is larger than the entire U.S. economy and it's hurting our competiveness, our economic confidence, and our ability to create jobs," said Biggert. "By the time today's children are raising their own families, literally every single dollar we raise in revenue will go to pay for Medicare, Social Security and other government health care programs. We must address our budget challenges to ensure that programs like Medicare don't go bankrupt."
The nation's Medicare actuaries released a new report this week that predicted the Administration's health law will dramatically increase health spending by $478 billion through 2021. Already, Medicare is estimated to be insolvent by 2024, due in large part to explosive growth in health care costs, the retirements each day of more than 10,000 Baby Boomers, and the fact that Americans are living about a decade longer than when Medicare was created in 1965.
"Seniors have paid into these programs fair and square on the promise of basic health security during their retirement," said Biggert. "I've always said that a promise made is a promise kept, and we cannot let the federal government break that promise."
According to Biggert, the House-passed Path to Prosperity Budget would return government spending to a post-World War II average of about 20% of GDP. The GOP budget also simplifies tax brackets, closes loopholes, and creates new Medicare options for Americans age 55 and younger.
"No responsible budget can solve our problems overnight, but we need to work together on realistic solutions," said Biggert. "The GOP plan doesn't change anything in Medicare for those fifty-five and older. But for those still a decade away from retirement, it offers competitive cost-savings, where beneficiaries have the option of a traditional Medicare option or premium support to select from a menu of personalized plans. I hope my colleagues on the other side will take a look at these ideas based on the merits and do what's best for future seniors, rather than launching election-year attacks."
Biggert also discussed her vote for H.R. 5, a bill passed in the House to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and implement medical liability reform. IPAB is a 15-member board of unelected officials created under the Administration's 2010 health overhaul with broad powers to make Medicare decisions for millions of seniors
"We really have a choice of two futures," said Biggert. "One that follows the path of countries like Greece, and one that brings us back to a vital economy."