Today, House Republicans voted to end Medicare and reduce benefits to seniors by a vote of 235-193 with all Democrats voting no. The Republican budget increases costs to seniors by $6,000 in order to give millionaires $200,000 more in tax breaks and puts insurance companies in charge of seniors’ health care while giving tens of billions in tax breaks to big oil and companies that ship jobs overseas.
Leader Pelosi in strong opposition:
I want to say to my Republican colleagues: do you realize that your leadership is asking you to cast a vote today to abolish Medicare as we know it? Because that is the vote that we have. This is not about an issue. This is about a value. This is about an ethic.
Medicare is a core value of our social compact with the American people, yet this budget shreds that contract, which is part of the strength of our country. The Republican proposal breaks the promise that our country has made to our seniors, that after a lifetime of work they will be able to depend on Medicare to protect them in retirement. This plan, the Republican plan, ends Medicare as we know it and dramatically reduces benefits for seniors. It forces them to pay more, to buy their insurance from the health insurance companies, where the average senior would be forced to pay twice as much for half of the benefits. I want to repeat that. The Republican plan forces seniors to buy their insurance from health insurance companies, where the average senior would be forced to pay twice as much for half of the benefits—as much as twenty thousand dollars per year more for some seniors.
This plan has the wrong priorities—for our seniors and for all Americans. The Republican budget, just remember these three things: ends Medicare as we know it as they give big tax breaks and subsidies, tens of billions of dollars to Big Oil; this budget reduces Medicaid for our seniors in nursing homes, sending them away from nursing homes while it gives tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas; this budget hurts our children’s education, in fact, it increases the cost of higher education for nearly 10 million of our young adults while it gives tax breaks to America’s wealthiest families. That’s just not fair.