Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson released the following statement on how the Ryan plan will increase premiums for millions of seniors, and how specifically its effects would be felt by seniors in the 30th Congressional District of Texas:
"Congressman Ryan introduced a budget, which is supported by Governor Romney and House Republicans, that would do irreparable damage to our Medicare system. The Ryan-Republican Plan transforms Medicare into a voucher system, increasing costs for seniors and subjecting them to the whims of private insurance companies. Under the Ryan Plan, the guarantee we have made to our seniors of coverage and affordability of Medicare will cease to exist. Americans have contributed to Medicare their entire lives, and the Ryan Plan jeopardizes a program that seniors rely on when they retire."
In the 30th District, the Ryan plan:
· Increases prescription costs for 4,600 Medicare beneficiaries who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $42 million for drugs over the next decade.
· Eliminates new preventive care benefits for 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
· Forces 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in traditional Medicare to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums to remain in traditional Medicare after Medicare becomes a voucher program.
· Reduces coverage for 11,600 Medicare beneficiaries who rely on Medicaid to supplement their Medicare coverage, potentially denying them over $410 million in health benefits.
· Jeopardizes nursing home care for 1,400 district residents whose expenses are paid by Medicaid.
The Congresswoman noted, "the Ryan plan is harmful to the residents of the 30th District, and I will not support a policy that breaks the promises we have made to our seniors. There is a far better alternative to the Ryan plan: the Affordable Care Act, supported by Democratic Members of Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The Affordable Care Act reduces the costs of prescription drugs for seniors, offers a wide range of critical preventive services for seniors, and extends the program by nearly a decade. I will continue to work with my Democratic colleagues to protect seniors from these destructive attempts by the GOP, and stand firm against Republican attempts to dismantle the Medicare system."