Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan waves with his family (from left) Sam, Liza, Paul Ryan, wife Janna, Charlie, and mother Betty Ryan Douglas after his acceptance speech during the GOP National Convention in Tampa, Fl. Aug. 29, 2012. (Photo – Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Historic. I will forever cherish the memory of being present in the arena when Paul Ryan, our VP nominee, gave an electric speech to a very excited and enthusiastic crowd in Tampa. I am extremely doubtful that Romney could have picked a better candidate to be his running mate. My brother, there with me in the arena, summed up his feelings in this very apt tweet:
All the corn fields of Iowa can’t supply the amount of popcorn I’m gonna need for the VP debates. Biden. is. toast. #RomneyRyan2012#GOP2012
Starting today, Mitt Romney will be airing weekly podcasts. Great idea!
Today’s message is about President Obama’s cuts to Medicare and Romney’s own plan to protect the commitment made to current seniors.
President Obama’s healthcare law raided $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund. And he did that to finance his takeover of the healthcare system.
Now if that wasn’t bad enough, his healthcare law also put in place a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats and gave them the power to make additional cuts to Medicare without even having to get approval from Congress. This means they could deny elderly Americans the care they’ve worked for their entire lives – all because President Obama trusts bureaucrats more than he trusts seniors and their doctors.
And here’s one more troubling aspect of all this: According to independent, non-partisan scorekeepers, these cuts the President’s people will take to Medicare won’t prevent it from going bankrupt: Experts estimate that Medicare’s trust funds will be exhausted just twelve short years from now.
Now there is good news, and that is there’s a better approach. Last November, I released a plan to save and strengthen Medicare – without making any changes for those that are 55 years of age and older. And then shortly after that, my running mate, Paul Ryan, he worked in a bipartisan way to advance a nearly identical series of reforms in Congress.
Now that he and I have teamed up, we’re going to ensure that seniors are protected from President Obama’s reckless actions. We’re going to take our solutions all the way to the White House.
We are going to start by repealing Obamacare. That law is threatening seniors, and it is a maze of new federal mandates, and taxes, and penalties that’s hampering job creation.
Once the partisan roadblock is removed, we can work with leaders from both parties to advance real solutions to save Medicare.
The Romney-Ryan plan will make no changes to Medicare for those that are retired or near retirement. And if we act soon, we can reorient our policies without asking seniors to reorganize their lives.
For younger Americans, we are going to strengthen Medicare by providing future retirees with federal financial support and letting them choose from a list of Medicare-approved coverage plans, including a traditional Medicare option.
The amount of financial support that a person would get would be adjusted based on their income; more help would go to the poor or the sick — and less help would go to those that are financially better off. It would be based on how much the plans cost so that seniors always have access to affordable, quality coverage. And no senior could ever be denied coverage for any reason.
The Romney-Ryan plan preserves and protects Medicare – and it guarantees the future of the program by forcing insurance companies to compete for business. Choice and competition will drive costs down and make quality better, resulting in more affordable, better care for our seniors.
We’ve got to save this critical program. You paid into it, and you’ve earned it. I think it’s outrageous that the President took $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund to pay for Obamacare. No President should put in jeopardy your benefits. And no board of bureaucrats should ever be empowered to make decisions that could deny you the kind of care that you deserve.
This November, I hope you will reject President Obama’s cuts to Medicare. And I hope you will choose Paul Ryan and me to protect health and retirement security, to promote prosperity, and restore our economic growth.
GOP V.P. candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, wave to a huge crowd of supporters at a VICTORY rally in ‘The Villages’ in Florida. Aug 18, 2012 (Photo / AP)
Speaking in Florida today at The Villages, Paul Ryan also echoed Romney’s message. After introducing his 78 year old mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, to the large crowd Ryan spoke of the Medicare benefits he witnessed when he was a boy and his grandmother, stricken with Alzheimer’s, was moved into his home to be cared for. Ryan revealed that he and his mom were his grandmother’s two primary caregivers and also spoke of his mom’s reliance on the promise of Medicare:
“My mom has been on Medicare for over ten years and I won’t tell you exactly how many years over ten years she’s been on it. She plays tennis every week. She exercises every day. She planned her retirement around this promise that the government made her because she paid her payroll taxes into this program which she had this promise with. That’s a promise we have to keep. Here is what the President won’t tell you about his Medicare plan, about Obamacare. The President raids $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for the Obamacare program. What’s more, in addition to that, he puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. You want to know what Medicare is saying about this? From Medicare officials themselves: one out of six of our hospitals and our nursing homes will go out of business as a result of this. Four million seniors are projected to lose their Medicare advantage plans that they enjoy and they chose today under this Obamacare plan. What’s worse is the President’s campaign calls this an achievement. Do you think raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare is achievement? Do you think that empowering a board of bureaucrats to cut Medicare [is] an achievement? Neither do I. Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for Obamacare. Medicare should be the promise that is made to our current seniors period, end of story. Here is what Mitt Romney and I will do: We will end the raid of Medicare. We will restore the promise of this program and we will make sure that this board of bureaucrats will not mess with my mom’s health care or your mom’s health care.”
UPDATE - Follow @PaulRyansMom on Twitter here. Follow @RepPaulRyan here.
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Looking forward to another Romney podcast next Saturday!