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PA Dems, Schwartz, Ding Romney on Health Care

By Elyse Clonan, Contributing Writer

As Republicans choose their nominee, Democrats from DC to Pa. haven’t taken their eye off the ball: Mitt Romney. Pa. Dems organized a conference call Thursday afternoon to critique Romney’s health care and entitlement program policies.

Pennsylvania seniors need to be fully aware of the threat Mitt Romney’s policies could pose to the American health care system, Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burn argued in a press conference call on Monday afternoon.

The call also featured Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery), who has worked on a number of health care issues in Washington.

“Given that Pennsylvania is home to the second-largest senior population behind Florida,” Burns said, “the Congresswoman and I were both disturbed by Mitt Romney’s pandering in Florida in this week as he campaigned for President, telling seniors that he would protect Medicare while we all know that his policies would dismantle the program and turn it into a voucher system.”

Burn asserted that Romney “is saying anything he can to get elected” by “promising that America will always take care of its senior citizens.” He didn’t hesitate to point out Romney’s affiliation with Damon Corporation, a company which plead guilty to $25 million in Medicare fraud (an offense which took place while Romney sat on the company’s board of directors) and was ultimately ordered to pay a fine of $119 million.

Schwartz, a member of the Budget committee, argued that Romney’s proposed changes to the Medicare system would “end Medicare as we know it for seniors in Pennsylvania and across this country” by ending guaranteed benefits in favor of a voucher system, which would in turn mandate senior citizens to look for medical coverage on their own.

“We should be working to protect and strengthen Medicare now and into the future,” Schwartz said.

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