Cut Medicare and Medicaid by $1.3 Trillion?


Newt Gingrich wanted Medicare to ‘wither on the vine’ in the 90’s – Today, McCain wants to take a chainsaw to it.

Washington D.C.Americans United for Change, the non-profit issue advocacy group best known for leading the national campaign to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security in 2005, today called on U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk, Judy Biggert, Peter Roskam and Ray LaHood to ‘take a stand’ one way or another on the disastrous McCain health care proposal that would dismantle Medicare as we know it and put at serious risk the guaranteed health coverage 43 million American seniors depend on today.


“Senator John McCain has put on the table a radical and terribly misguided health care proposal that independent analysts estimate would gut Medicare and Medicaid by $1.3 trillion — and the people of Illinois deserve to know where Representatives Mark Kirk, Judy Biggert, Peter Roskam and Ray LaHood stand,” said Jeremy Funk, of Americans United for Change, which hosted an emergency press conference with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) and Medicare experts on Monday blasting Senator McCain’s out of touch proposal. 


“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made the mistake in the 1990’s of trying to slash Medicare by $300 billion, infamously promising to let the hugely successful senior health program ‘wither on the vine,’ added Funk. “But, Senator McCain’s plan today would take a chainsaw to Medicare and seriously threaten the guaranteed care it has provided our seniors for decades.  So, it’s a simple question, Representatives Kirk, Biggert, Roskam and LaHood: do you or don’t you endorse the McCain health care disaster in the making?” 


“It is simply not possible to take over a trillion dollars out of Medicare without adversely impacting seniors, no matter how you implement the reductions,” said Maria Freese, Director, Government Relations and Policy, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, during Monday’s press conference call. “President Bush discovered this the hard way when he repeatedly included hundreds of billions of dollars of Medicare cuts in his budgets, only to see them rejected by Congress and the American people.  Apparently Senator McCain intends to go back down that same road.”  


“Millions of seniors in my state rely on Medicare and Medicaid,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) during yesterday’s press conference call.  “John McCain treats these programs, and these people, like they’re disposable.”