MEMO: Everything You Need to Know About the Ryan-Romney Budget in One Place


Subject: Everything You Need to Know About the Ryan-Romney Budget in One Place

Date: March 22, 2012

To: Editorial Boards, Interested Parties

From: Americans United for Change


Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has again ignited a hugely consequential debate over our national priorities with the release of his latest budget proposal which is expected to face a vote in the U.S. House next week.  It is a debate over whether the “Path to Prosperity” [A.K.A. ‘The Roadmap to Middle-Class Extinction 2.0’] is paved on the backs on seniors, students, the disabled, and less privileged children while at the same time giving price-gouging oil companies tens of billions of dollars in subsides and giving millionaires and companies that ship U.S. jobs overseas massive new tax breaks that never manage to ‘trickle-down’ to anyone else.  Ryan and Mitt Romney say “yes.”  The facts and the American people say ‘no’ to the budget that Puts Millionaires Before Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries, Puts Corporations Before Kids, Puts Wall Street CEO's Before Middle-Class Jobs, and Puts Oil Subsidies Before Students.


First, why call it the Ryan-Romney budget?  Does Republican Presidential Frontrunner Mitt Romney Support It?  Emphatically, Yes.


Who Wins Under the Ryan-Romney Budget?  The Richest 1%.  Corporations that Outsource American Jobs.  Big Oil Companies.  Big Insurance Companies.  Wall Street.


Then Who Makes All The Sacrifices Under the Ryan-Romney Budget?  Seniors.  Women.  Students.  Children.  Americans with Disabilities.  Veterans.  The Environment.  The Middle-Class.


                I.  "Shifts substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries" According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “The budget resolution developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would make significant changes to Medicare.  It would replace Medicare’s current guarantee of coverage with a premium-support voucher, raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, and reopen the “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s coverage of prescription drugs.  Together, these changes would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and (with the simultaneous repeal of health reform) leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all.  The plan also would likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making its pool of beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker — and increasingly costly to cover…The (CBO) projects that under the Ryan budget, federal Medicare expenditures on behalf of an average new beneficiary would be $400 to $700 (6 to 11 percent) less in 2023, $1,200 to $2,200 (14 to 23 percent) less in 2030, and $5,900 to $8,000 (35 to 42 percent) less in 2050 than under current law.”  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 28, 2012]

Slashes Medicare Benefits by Raising Eligibility Age to 67: “The plan would gradually raise Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 for people turning 65 in 2023 and thereafter, even as it repeals health reform’s coverage expansions.  This could leave 65 and 66 year olds who can’t get employer-based coverage out in the cold.  People with modest incomes generally wouldn’t be able to afford the prices that private insurance companies would charge to cover people in this age bracket.”
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 21, 2012]                             

II.      AARP: “By creating a “premium support” system for future Medicare beneficiaries, the proposal is likely to simply increase cost for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage — a guarantee that future seniors have contributed tothrough a lifetime of hard work…The premium support method described in the proposal – unlike private plan options that currently exist in Medicare — would likely “price out” traditional Medicare as a viable option, thus rendering the choice of traditional Medicare as a false promise. [AARP letter to membership, March, 21, 2012]                           

III.      CBO: Policies Would Cut Medicare Benefits: “CBO said it’s possible that seniors would face higher costs under the Ryan plan, and said other possible side effects include “reduced access to health care; diminished quality of care; increased efficiency of health care delivery;less investment in new, high-cost technologies; or some combination of those outcomes.” [The Hill, 3/20/12]                         

IV.      “GRADUAL DEMISE OF MEDICARE”: “The plan also would likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making the pool of Medicare beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker — and increasingly costly to cover.” 
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 19, 2012]                           

 V.      “Fewer Health Services” Thanks to Ever-Shrinking Private Insurance Vouchers: “Once seniors reached the age of eligibility for Medicare, they would receive a premium-support voucher to help them buy coverage… Seniors who couldn’t afford to spend more than the voucher amount likely would have to purchase insurance that covered fewer health services as time went by, since the voucher likely would not keep pace with increases in health care costs.”
(See What You Need to Know About Premium Support) [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 21, 2012]







How Much Would All These New Tax Breaks for Millionaires and Big Corporations Cost Us?  $4.6 Trillion – with a T.



Doesn’t the Ryan-Romney Budget at Least Rein in the Deficit as Promised?  No, It Would "Explode" It.



Will It Create Any Jobs? Quite the Opposite.  Millions of Middle-Class Jobs Put in Jeopardy.



How popular are the proposals in the Romney-Ryan budget?  Not just Unpopular…They’re Radioactive. 



What Are Other Editorial Boards Saying About It?




So the Only Question that Remains Is: Will House Republicans – who already voted overwhelming last year for Ryan’s previous radical budget that end Medicare as we know it – vote next week for the “Roadmap to Middle-Class Extinction 2.0” written by and for Wall Street and Corporate America that:

ü       Punishes Seniors and People with Disabilities w/Higher Out-of-Pocket Costs and Less Care

ü       Leaves 48 Million Americans Uninsured

ü       Leaves Disadvantaged Children Hungry and Without Coverage

ü       Makes College Less Affordable for Millions

ü       Puts Big Insurance Companies Back in Charge

ü       Allows Insurance Companies to Again Treat Woman as a “Pre-Existing Condition”

ü       Adds to the deficit and subtracts millions of middle-class jobs


ü       Irresponsibly Gives Millionaires and Corporations that Outsource Jobs Trillions of Dollars in New Tax Breaks


ü       Makes the Worst Health Insurance Industry Practices Legal Again, Doles Out Billions in Subsides Price-Gouging Oil Companies, Lets Wall Street Banks Off The Hook


But, You Already Know the Answer to That Question.