“THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan wrapped his first solo tour as Mitt Romney’s running mate at the famous retirement community here Saturday, taking his message of Medicare reform to seniors in a crucial swing state.
Standing between two signs that read “Protect and Strengthen Medicare,” Ryan made the most personal case for overhauling Medicare yet during his time on the campaign trail. With his mother, 78-year-old Betty Ryan Douglas, standing near him on the stage, Ryan discussed how the Medicare program has played a role in his own family’s life.
“Like a lot of Americans, when I think of Medicare, it’s not just a program. It’s not just a bunch of numbers. It’s what my mom relies on. It’s what my grandma had,” Ryan said. He told of how is grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and moved into his mother’s home when he was in high school. “Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma, when we needed it then. And Medicare is there for my mom while she needs it now and we have to keep that guarantee.”
Hundreds of seniors from the neighborhood came out in support of Ryan, while a few protestors stood on the outskirts holding signs against against Ryan’s Medicare plan. A small plane flew over the rally carrying a banner reading, “Paul Ryan: Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!”
The future of the federal program has become a focal point of the presidential campaign since Romney chose Ryan as his running mate last weekend. As House Budget Committee Chairman, Ryan proposed a plan to overhaul the Medicare health care program for those currently under the age of 55 that would offer what Republicans call “premium support,” a system in which the federal government provides subsidies to seniors to purchase health care from private insurers. The new structure, Republicans say, would reduce the rapidly ballooning cost of the popular program. Democrats counter that the plan, which passed in the Republican-led House but failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate, would increase health care costs for seniors. With the Ryan pick, Democrats see an opportunity to use the plan against him to win the state heavy with seniors.”
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know a detailed debate about their Medicare voucher plan is politically ‘suicidal’ so they’re not telling the truth about its impact on current seniors. Congressman Ryan didn’t tell seniors in Florida today that if he had his way, seniors would face higher Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs, and would be forced to pay out of pocket for preventive care,” said campaign spokesman Danny Kanner in a statement. “He didn’t say that they’d turn Medicare into a voucher system, ending the Medicare guarantee and raising costs by $6,400 a year for seniors. And he certainly didn’t say that they’d do it all to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. But those are the facts, and the ‘substantive’ debate he claims they want requires Romney and Ryan to be honest about them.”
“The decision to send Ryan to a retirement community in Florida to defend his plan suggests that Medicare will likely remain a major part of the campaign debate, one that both Republicans and Democrats appear confident they can win.”
You may recall that a few years back, The Villages—a retirement community in Florida largely composed of well heeled white Republicans, gained notoriety for a nationally high rate of STD’s and AIDS infections.
Further, for all the touching stories of the Ryan family’s passion for Medicare, the obvious is clear, if/when the Ryan budget plan goes into effect and seniors are given roughly $6000.00 a year in vouchers instead of Medicare, the Ryan family of multimillionaires will be able to afford all the extra expenses. Hell, I went through $6000.00 in just 4 ER visits last year. Momma Ryan is another Ann Romney, living in a fantasy world of power and privilege.