June 29, 2012
May 9, 2011
Center for Economic Policy Research
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A 54-year-old today will have to save an additional $182,000 in their IRA or 401(k) before he or she retires just to pay for the House Republican plan to eliminate Medicare, an analysis released today by U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) found.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) estimated that individuals born in 1957 would need $182,000 by the time they retire at 65 to pay the additional costs imposed by the Republican plan if they live to 84. The analysis was included in a letter to Rep. Miller.
“Under the Republican plan, seniors will go into debt. They will be forced to sell their homes that they spent a lifetime paying off. And they will have to rely on their children just to pay for basic medical care,” said Miller. “This is not what anyone would envision as a dignified retirement.”
Last month, House Republicans voted to end the Medicare program, which offers guaranteed benefits, and replace it with a plan that would force seniors to find private insurance with the assistance of a voucher. Since the voucher’s value relative to health care costs would decrease over time and private insurance costs are higher than traditional Medicare, seniors retiring in 2022 under the Republican plan would be forced to pay much higher costs than under current law.
As a result, CEPR found that the average senior beginning in 2022 would have to save $182,000 to cover these additional costs, assuming a return of 3 percent in real interest during their retirement years.
“Congress needs to make sure Medicare is sustainable for seniors in the future and sustainable for taxpayers. We took a substantial step towards this goal through the Affordable Care Act,” said Miller. “But, a few things are certain: you don’t save Medicare by abolishing it. And you don’t help seniors have a dignified retirement by forcing them into poverty.”
Approximately half of all workers do not have any retirement savings at all. The Employee Benefits Research Institute estimates that the average retirement savings shortfall was more than $47,000 per individual in 2010.
May 5, 2011
State group slams proposal for Medicaid
By Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel May 4, 2011
Washington – A group of Wisconsinites with disabilities vowed Wednesday to keep protesting the Ryan budget after many of them were arrested this week demonstrating in congressional office buildings.
“Representative Ryan is going to be seeing us again sooner or later. . . . We aren’t going away,” said Jerome Holzbauer, a retired Milwaukee schoolteacher who has cerebral palsy.
Holzbauer was arrested Monday with 90 others from Wisconsin and other states while protesting Ryan’s proposal to convert the Medicaid entitlement into block grants to the states. The group had occupied the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building.
A smaller group of 10 was arrested Tuesday after occupying the front room of Ryan’s office in the Longworth office building for several hours, chanting and yelling.
One of those arrested was Jason Glozier, an organizer in Madison with the group ADAPT, an advocacy and “direct action” group for people with disabilities.
Glozier said the group has been fighting what it calls a bias in the Medicaid system toward institutional treatment as opposed to home-based care. He said the Ryan proposal would exacerbate that problem and have the effect of pushing more disabled people into institutional care.
Glozier said about a dozen Wisconsinites were involved in the protests this week, most of whom got arrested Monday for “unlawful conduct” and released with future court dates. Several spent the night in the Rayburn House Office Building being processed by Capitol Police.
“I’d rather go to jail than die in a nursing home,” Ruth Fox of Minong said of the civil disobedience tactics employed this week. Fox said she has colon cancer.
Ryan staffers met with the protesters Monday in the Cannon building and spoke to them as well in Ryan’s office Tuesday, though the protesters failed in their effort to secure a meeting with Ryan himself. Glozier said his group left Ryan’s office voluntarily after Ryan aides declined to have them removed, then were arrested in the hallway.
Ryan’s office would not comment on the arrests, but issued this statement about his budget proposals:
“Congressman Ryan appreciates the spirited debate on how best to repair our social safety net and avert a debt-fueled economic crisis. Rather than more empty promises from a government that is going bankrupt, Congressman Ryan will continue to advance solutions that strengthen our safety net for society’s most vulnerable, put the federal budget on the path to balance, and our economy on the path to prosperity.”
Medicaid covers acute and long-term care for the poor, disabled and elderly.
Ryan says the changes to Medicaid would give states flexibility; critics say they would result in major long-term cuts.
The Congressional Budget Office says federal Medicaid payments to states would over time be significantly lower under the Ryan plan than under existing law.
April 27, 2011
To see a clip of Ryan’s town hall meeting in Kenosha along with other Republican town hall meetings where the public is confronting the lies, go to the following link: