Republicans in Congress Are Trying to Get Their Hands on Our Guaranteed Medicare Benefits


New TV Ad Warns:  Republicans in Congress Are Trying to Get Their Hands on Our Guaranteed Medicare Benefits and Leave Future Retirees at the Mercy of Private Insurance Companies


Ad from Americans United for Change Comes on Heels of Release of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Radical, Costly Budget Plan to Give More Tax Breaks to Millionaires While at the Same Time Replacing Medicare With a  Voucher System That Leaves Seniors Paying Higher Premiums for Less Care



Click Here to View “Hands Off Medicare”


SEE: Bloomberg: ‘Ryan’s Budget Proposal Would Aid Insurers, a Top Source of Campaign Cash’ 


 Washington DCAmericans United for Change launched a new TV ad issuing a stark warning to future retirees about the debt-increasing, job-crippling budget plan now on the table from Republicans in Congress that “would essentially end Medicare” and leave seniors at the mercy of the private insurance industry while at the same time hand out billions of dollars in tax breaks for millionaires and big corporations.   See script below for the ad entitled “Hands Off Medicare,” which features images of a break-in as a metaphor for the health insurance industry’s desire to get their hands on our guaranteed Medicare benefits and the GOP’s willingness to aid and abet them.  View the ad here which airs this week nationally on MSNBC and on cable news stations in the nation’s capital:


The effort comes on the heels of the release Tuesday of Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan that would replace Medicare with a system where seniors receive a voucher to purchase private health insurance, that according to the CBPP, “would fall farther and farther behind health care costs — and purchase less and less coverage — with each passing year.”  And according to the Congressional Budget Office: “Under the proposal, most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.”


The Ryan plan doesn’t stop there.  It calls for steep Medicaid cuts disguised as a block-grant system, which would shift costs to states that are already facing huge budget shortfalls and eliminate coverage for millions of seniors, the poor and the disabled  who depend on it for care right now.  In fact, 14 million elderly and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid for health coverage and long-term care such as nursing homes. 


While Ryan and his Republican colleagues call their plan to deny care to the poor and disabled the ‘path to prosperity,’ a recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that block grants would not only be detrimental to the health of millions of Americans but also cost three million jobs.  But not everyone is being asked to make sacrifices. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Ryan plan would “produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history, while increasing poverty and inequality more than any measure in recent times and possibly in the nation’s history.  That’s because the Ryan plan would generate at least two-thirds — about $2.9 trillion — of its $4.3 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years from programs for people of modest means, while making permanent all of President Bush’s tax cuts for high-income Americans as well as a new estate-tax giveaway in the December 2010 tax package.”


Tom McMahon, executive director, Americans United for Change: “There is nothing courageous about Republicans in Congress asking millions of seniors, the less fortunate and the disabled to make more sacrifices and the richest among us to make even less.   If Republicans in Congress had their way, there would be no more guaranteed Medicare benefits for seniors, only a guarantee of paying more and more out of pocket for less care after being left to the mercy to the private insurance industry – only a guarantee that America’s poor and disabled will live sicker and die younger while millionaires get another tax break they don’t need and the nation cannot afford.”


In Case You Missed It …







And Just to Note …






“Hands Off Medicare”

Ad Back-Up

Americans United For Change

TV  (:30)




ANNCR: This public service announcement is for anyone who will ever be 65 or older.

Monday, word leaked of a plot to steal one of your most valuable assets – your Medicare.

The thieves have been identified as insurance companies, desperate to get at the Medicare trust fund.

CG: Warning! The insurance companies are after your Medicare

[GOP budget] plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills …The proposal would also convert Medicaid, the health program for the poor, into a series of block grants to give states more flexibility.” [emphasis added, Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]


Insurance Companies Stand to Have An Influx of New Customers. Under the Republican budget, when middle-aged Americans hit 65, they would then “choose from an array of private insurance plans when they reach 65 and become eligible, and the government would pay about the first $15,000 in premiums.” This would be a huge boon to health insurance companies. [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]


“…private insurance companies, making lots of money off the voucher business, will cast their eyes on those potential profit centers, aka seniors, still getting government insurance. So traditional Medicare will be in the firing line — and all those assurances about how nobody currently over 55 will be hurt will turn out to be empty.” [Paul Krugman, New York Times, 4/5/11]


ANNCR: They are abetted by Republicans whose budget replaces Medicare with a voucher to buy private insurance.

CG: Republicans are abetting the crime



“Mr Ryan's plan promises that once you reach 65, you will receive a voucher for an amount that he thinks ought to be enough for individuals to purchase a private health-insurance plan…If that voucher isn't worth enough for some particular senior to buy insurance, and that particular senior isn't wealthy enough to top off the coverage, or is a bit forgetful and neglects to purchase insurance, there's no guarantee that that person will be insured. It's up to you; you carry the risk.” [The Economist, 4/5/11]


Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard: It’s Voucher Time

“Most Republicans in Congress favor Medicare vouchers and say so privately.” [4/4/11]


Why are Republicans so eager to give business to private companies? Since last year, Republicans have collected more than $25 million from the health insurance industry. [Washington Post, 2/6/11]


ANNCR:  The same Republicans who refuse to end tax breaks for millionaires want to put you at the mercy of the big insurance companies.

CG: Protect your Medicare from Republicans and insurance companies

To rein in the deficit, Republicans could have chosen to end subsidies for oil companies, and stop using taxpayer dollars to support companies that outsource. In fact, the House Republicans voted twice against ending subsidies for oil and gas companies. [“Tax Breaks vs. Budget Cuts,” American Progress, 2/22/11; HJRes44, Vote #153, 3/1/11;, 3/1/11; HR 1, Vote #109, 2/18/11; House Committee on Natural Resources press release, 2/18/11; The State Column, 1/26/11]


ANNCR:  If you know the whereabouts of these Republicans, call them. Tell them. Hands off my Medicare

CG: Hands off Medicare


Paid for by Americans United for Change