PA Dems Take First Shot at Ryan

Candidates Badey, Boockvar and Trivedi talked Paul Ryan's budget today in Philadelphia.

Following Romney’s much anticipated VP pick, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, PA Dems fired their first attack against the choice during a press call Monday.

The Dems, including Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montco) and state Party Chairman Jim Burn, criticized the Romney-Ryan budget and discussed the impact it would have on Pennsylvania. They especially emphasized the impact that the duo’s plan for Medicare would have on Pennsylvania seniors.

Schwartz, who serves on the Budget Committee with Ryan, discussed what his budget would mean for Pennsylvania – cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits and hurting the state’s most vulnerable.

“The Romney-Ryan budget will end Medicare as we know it, by turning it into a voucher program that would increase seniors’ costs by over $6,000 a year.”

The call also featured firsthand insight from two Pennsylvania senior citizens, Judy Hines, 63, of Mercer and Rick Perella, 62, of Macungie.

Hines, a retired teacher, discussed the significant role of seniors in the country.

“When we think of our economy right now, it is our seniors…our seniors are the ones that are funding our economy, and to cut into any of their costs and removing any of their benefits will greatly affect the economy.”

Perella, a diabetic, talked about his personal experience with Medicare.

“I work part time, but if Romney and Ryan succeed in turning Medicare into a voucher system, my entire neighborhood, which is a lot of older of people, would be in serious trouble. I believe down the road when, if, the Romney-Ryan plan went into effect, I wouldn’t have any way of paying for my prescription drugs. I can’t even imagine what some of these people who don’t work at all (would do). I would have to work full time at 67, which is really not what I was expecting out of life.”

State GOP Communications Director Valerie Caras said that instead of the Democrats attacking Romney and Ryan, they should be pointing the finger at their own President.

“President Obama is the one who cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and put in place a panel of Washington bureaucrats to make decisions about what kind of care seniors will receive under Medicare,” she said.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a bipartisan plan to strengthen Medicare by allowing seniors to keep the Medicare they have and giving future seniors the freedom to choose between traditional Medicare and a variety of plans of their choice. Medicare is approaching critical levels and the Romney-Ryan team is committed to ensuring that Medicare remains strong, not just for today’s seniors, but for tomorrow’s seniors as well.”

The Medicare cuts, which are to be implemented over the course of 10 years, are not specific program cuts as much as a reduction in the growth of the program, according to FactCheck.org.

They also posted a separate entry elaborating on Ryan’s second budget proposal saying Democrats are “still hammering an old, and since replaced, GOP proposal, claiming it  would “end Medicare,” and cost seniors $6,000 more a year for their health care…the increased cost claim is no longer applicable to it.”

But Burn, Schwartz and the two seniors weren’t the only Pennsylvania Democrats hitting on Ryan Monday.

Kathy Boockvar, Democratic challenger for PA-8, along with fellow PA Congressional candidates Manan Trivedi for PA-6 and George Badey for PA-7, fired their own attacks during a press conference on the Romney-Ryan budget proposal held in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania has the second highest population of seniors in the nation. Currently, 2.3 million Pennsylvania seniors, or 18 percent of the state’s population, rely on Medicare.

6 Responses

  1. I went to the wapo to find the story about thugs which Steven wrote..did not find it but did find this:
    Paul Ryan’s budget keeps Obama’s Medicare cuts. Full stop.
    By Ezra Klein , Updated: August 14, 2012

    Since the Romney campaign wants to run against President Obama’s cuts to Medicare, it’s something of a problem for them that Paul Ryan’s budget includes those very same cuts to Medicare. And so they’ve come up with a somewhat confused and confusing argument to distinguish the two plans.

    Obama’s cuts to Medicare are different because Ryan “keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency” while Obama uses it “to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.”

    This is basically a misunderstanding of how budgeting works. Or, at the least, it’s predicated on the listener misunderstanding how budgeting works.

    What they’re doing is switching between two questions very quickly. The first question is: “How much money are you cutting from Medicare?” The second question is: “How much overall deficit reduction is contained in your plan?” And the second question isn’t getting answered.

    Here’s what everyone agrees on: Ryan and Obama include the same cuts to the Medicare program itself. So if you’re an insurance company participating in the Medicare Advantage program, you’re getting the same cut no matter who wins the election. So the answer to the first question is, “the same amount as the Obama administration.”

    What Romney/Ryan are saying is that they then take the money saved from their cuts to Medicare and put it toward deficit reduction while Obama takes that money and spends it on health care for poor people. The argument here is that by using the money to cut the deficit, Romney/Ryan make future cuts to Medicare less likely.

    But Romney/Ryan also add a trillion dollars to the defense budget. And they have trillions of dollars in tax cuts they haven’t explained how they’re going to pay for. So those decisions make future cuts to Medicare more likely. Meanwhile, Obama cuts defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, raises about $1.5 trillion in new taxes, and puts all that money into deficit reduction. So that makes future Medicare cuts less likely.

    So if the argument is that Romney/Ryan protect Medicare by putting the $770 billion in cuts towards deficit reduction, Obama protects Medicare by twice as much by putting the $1.5 trillion in new tax revenues towards deficit reduction. So far as the deficit is concerned, there’s no difference between a dollar from Medicare and a dollar from taxes.

    Which just leaves us where we began: Romney/Ryan want to do more of their deficit reduction by cutting social services while Obama wants to do more of his deficit reduction through raising taxes. Deciding whose plan makes more sense requires making judgments about whether Romney/Ryan will ultimately pay for their tax cuts. But deciding who is cutting Medicare by $700 billion just requires looking at who is cutting Medicare by $700 billion. And at the moment, that’s both Obama and the Republican budget.

    The Romney/Ryan campaign is aware of the difficulties in their argument, and so they’ve introduced a new wrinkle. They told Avik Roy, who also serves as a health adviser to the campaign, that “A Romney-Ryan Administration will restore the funding to Medicare.” If that’s true, then their budget math just got completely impossible, as I’ll explain in a coming post.

    © The Washington Post Company

  2. Oops – Washington Post reports Ryan approval has doubled among independents and seniors overnight. Guess that’s why you libs are sending thugs to storm his stage and punch his volunteers like today in Wisconsin.

  3. By selecting Ryan, Romney campaigns on issues as opposed to crude demagoguery. Pushing granny off the cliff is pure BS, the Ryan plan will not change Medicare for anyone over 55. I look forward to seeing Ryan debate Biden. Romney and Ryan will tell America what it has to hear to solve it problems, not what it has been told by a president that does not want be a leader.

  4. I think some are looking at this way too simplistically. Former Democratic Party Chairman Rooney pointed out that the bulk of swing voters in Pennsylvania are not senior citizens. They tend to be upper-income voters who tend to be fiscally conservative but socially moderate to liberal. These voters probably would support the Ryan plan.

  5. Besides the WH, picking Ryan will flip the House to the Dems and increase the D majority in the Senate. Thanks Mitt. Signed, a Republican

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