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Opinion >  Letters

Seniors can’t afford Paul Ryan

There is a continuing push by Republican politicians like House Speaker Paul Ryan to dismantle Medicare. In Ryan’s latest proposal, “A Better Way,” he calls for raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and ending guaranteed benefits. Instead of Americans collecting at 65 the hard-earned benefits they have paid into throughout their lives, they will be given a meager substitute, “premium support.”

Ryan’s privatization would shift health care costs onto seniors. His plan hopes to model the system after Medicare Part D, which has not controlled skyrocketing prescription costs, but benefits drug and insurance companies. Heading into this election season, voters should not be deceived. Our nation’s seniors simply cannot afford Paul Ryan’s plan to weaken Medicare.

We need to strengthen Medicare. This means allowing early retirees to purchase Medicare policies at affordable premium rates. A bill proposed by Rep. Jim McDermott, H.R. 5396, would expand Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing benefits. These services would improve the health coverage of seniors and close many of the pre-existing gaps in Medicare’s benefit package.

Medicare provides a critical lifeline that protects the health and economic security of our nation’s seniors.

Marsha Beck


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