Our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, has always been supporter of the budget proposals championed by House Budget Committee Chair, Paul Ryan. Reed voted for the Ryan budget again last April.
Seniors in New York’s 23rd should be aware of a posting by the National Council on Aging entitled “10 Ways the Ryan Budget Could Harm Older Americans.” So should anyone who hopes to be a senior one day or who is caring for a senior.
The posting is worth reading in its entirety, but here are some of the scarier highlights.
“The proposal eliminates ACA (Affordable Care Act) provisions that reduce prescription drug costs; keep frail seniors in their homes; improve access to prevention services, including falls; provide a free annual wellness visit; improve chronic care; reduce Medicare fraud; improve nursing home quality; and reduce hospital readmissions.”
“Funding for Older Americans Act programs like Meals on Wheels, family caregiver support, job training, senior centers, and disease prevention programs, would suffer significant cuts when the need for these services is increasing. Over time, these programs—which are NOT contributing to the federal budget deficit—would be cut by 22% below current levels.”
“The proposal would increase the Medicare eligibility age, raise the deductible amount for doctor visits, penalize or prohibit people from buying first-dollar private Medigap coverage, and increase monthly premiums for middle-class seniors with incomes over $46,000 per year.”
Martha Robertson, the Democratic candidate opposing Reed, understands the cruelties the Ryan budget would impose on seniors — and not just on seniors. Here’s what she had to say about the Republican proposal in April.
“The working families of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes Region and Western New York deserve better than the budget released today by Congressman Tom Reed’s Republican colleagues. We must balance the budget and reduce the deficit, but we cannot do it on the backs of the hard working middle class and our seniors. We need to work together to find a responsible way to reduce our debt and grow our economy, instead of yet again rewarding millionaires and billionaires while raising taxes on hard working families and ending the Medicare guarantee for our seniors. It is extremely hypocritical that Congressman Reed and his Republican colleagues are working to raise taxes on middle class families, even though Congressman Reed has failed to pay his taxes on time 39 times.”
Martha hit the nail on the head with that statement, and it’s one more reason to vote for her on November 4.