Dems Say GOP’s Medicare Plan Backfiring
Senate Democrats are watching their Republican Senate colleagues squirm as polls show the House GOP plan to dramatically rejigger Medicare is a toxic pill.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D—N.Y.) says Senate Democrats will hold a vote this week to crush the “Republican’s bid to end Medicare as we know it.”
“The latest evidence is that the public wants no part of this plan,” Schumer said.
Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan would cut spending by dramatically remaking Medicare. But since the Ryan plan passed the GOP-controlled House more than a month ago, Democrats have successfully argued it would kill Medicare and force retirees to pay more for health care.
A new Associated Press poll found Most Americans don’t believe Medicare – or Social Security for that matter – needs to be cut to balance the federal budget.
Overall, 70% in the poll said Social Security was “extremely” or “very” important to their financial security in retirement, and 72% agreed for Medicare.
This week’s Senate vote will position Democrats as the party that saved the essential program, Schumer said. Until Ryan’s budget is defeated, there won’t be a real bipartisan plan to cut spending, he added.
The risk to Republicans for threatening to change Medicare became clear in the special election for the upstate New York U.S. House seat.
Though the swath between Buffalo and Rochester has been reliably Republican – John McCain carried it despite the Obama New York wave – the latest polls show the Democrat pulling ahead in the 26th Congressional District.
A Siena College poll found Democrat Kathy Hochul leading Republican Jane Corwinby 42-38%. Tea Party candidate Jack Davis had 12%.
Schumer said all indicators were Hochul is riding the Medicare issue, and that the third-party candidate is waning.
Other New York Democrats said it wasn’t only constituents in the contested district who feared cuts to Medicare.
““The truth of the matter is the American people view Medicare as part of a social compact that we Americans have made to one another. They do not want to get rid of Medicare,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, D-Brooklyn. “There are other ways to balance the budget and address our nation’s debt without putting at risk such a vital service to aging Americans such as Medicare.”
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