Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) joined today with members from the Alliance for Retired Americans, AFL-CIO, Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Know Your Care to denounce the Ryan Medicare plan, which ends the promise of Medicare by turning it in to a voucher program for future enrollees. The group gathered at Johnstown's Central Park.
"The Ryan plan ends Medicare as we know it, raises seniors' out-of-pocket health care costs, and takes away immediate benefits," said Congressman Critz, a member of the Congressional Seniors Task Force. "In fact, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan plan would increase seniors' health care costs by $6,400 and raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, making it even harder for people to retire, let alone with any retirement security."
According to the AARP, the recent Ryan plan " is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare's promise of secure health coverage -- a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work." National Journal writes, "Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn't affect anybody near retirement age. But it would The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care."
"Don't be fooled, the Ryan plan is not reform," added Congressman Critz. "Instead, it is a radical proposal to eliminate Medicare and replace it with an unproven voucher system that cuts benefits for our seniors. We should be strengthening, not eliminating Medicare. The Ryan plan, if adopted, would be disastrous for our nation's seniors."
In 2011, Congressman Critz received the Social Security and Medicare Hero Award for his advocacy on behalf of Pennsylvania's seniors. Last year, he offered legislation that would prohibit funds from being used to develop or implement a system that cuts Medicare benefits, eliminates guaranteed health coverage for seniors or establishes a Medicare voucher plan that limits payments to beneficiaries in order to purchase health care in the private sector.
Congressman Critz was joined at the rally today by Joe Antal, National Association of Letter Carriers -- State President; Jean Friday, PA Alliance for Retired Americans -- President; and Erin Gill, Pennsylvania Health Action Network -- Outreach Coordinator.