BOHEMIA, NY, Aug 17 – “An unprecedented amount of distraction and distortion in this year’s mean-spirited presidential campaign is bound to have left seniors shaking their heads, wondering who’s telling the truth about the future of Medicare,” said Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
He told reporters in a statement issued today that it comes down to a simple choice: “Obamacare, which has already begun gutting the system and threatening its sustainability or the preservation of Medicare for older Americans and guaranteed access to it for future generations.”
The AMAC chief pointed out that Medicare, like Social Security, is not an entitlement program. “We pay for it with our tax money and, therefore, we have a right to have a say in how that money is allocated. Obamacare disregards this principle by slashing the funds allocated for Medicare by a whopping $716 billion over the next ten years. He decided on his own to use that money to pay for all the other alleged benefits of his Obamacare debacle.”
There are many reasons polls show that majority of Americans don’t like the Affordable Care Act and among the top is that it threatens Medicare coverage, Weber explained. He pointed out that “in addition to its book-keeping tricks that allows the government to rob Peter to pay Paul, the program forces doctors and medical institutions to accept less pay for service. Many of them are likely to stop seeing Medicare patients because they can’t afford to.”
Weber said that the Romney-Ryan proposal for Medicare recognizes the fact that we need to protect the current standards of coverage for seniors for the rest of their lives. “It also recognizes that in order to ensure access for younger Americans – those under 55 years of age – it will be necessary to adapt and supplement Medicare with a voucher program. It’s a rational and realistic approach that continues to gain support.”
He acknowledged that Governor Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his choice for VP on the Republican ticket sparked a barrage of criticism. But, he said, Ryan’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle have consistently praised his thoughtful approach to solving problems, including sticky problems such as the future of Medicare.
Even such a prominent Democrat as Erskine Bowles, former White House Chief of Staff under the Clinton Administration, found it difficult to find fault with Ryan. He made these surprising remarks in a 2011 speech, a video tape of which can be viewed here.
“He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did, by $4 trillion… The President came out with his own plan and the President, as you remember, came out with a budget, and I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously.”
It is interesting to note that Bowles was also Co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform created by President Obama, himself.