Florida Lt. Gov.: Seniors Must Be Protected in Medicare Debate

Sunday, 22 May 2011 09:36 AM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walker

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Senior citizens must be assured that they will be taken care of should Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to transform Medicare into a voucher program become law, Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll tells Newsmax.TV.

The state’s first African-American lieutenant governor acknowledged that the debate was going on at the federal level and there may not be much that states can do about it. However, she said that what is important is that “the seniors that have vested into the current system” be protected, have a voice in the debate, and be assured “that they will be taken care of in their twilight years.”

“Our hearts are going to be naturally with our seniors that have already vested into the system to make sure that no catastrophe that will occur, to give them the assurance they have the coverage that they have already paid into the system,” she said.

Story continues below video.

Carroll, a native of Trinidad and a Navy veteran, served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 before running for statewide office on the GOP ticket with Gov. Rick Scott. She said that states, with their balanced budget amendments, are now showing the federal government the way on fiscal responsibility.

“All the states that are leading with conservative leaders are models for the entire federal government and elected officials there,” she said. “So, the bottom line is we cannot balance our budget on the backs of our citizens that are hurting, they need jobs, they need to be able to do for themselves and their families and not pay a bunch of taxes.”

While the Florida legislature failed to enact immigration reform in its just completed session, Carroll said the issue remains on the agenda.

“Naturally we cannot be exactly like Arizona because we are not a border state and some of the nuances of Arizona do not apply to Florida,” she said. “But we do have a situation in the state of Florida if we have individuals that are breaking the law and not abiding by our immigration law, those people need to be held accountable. We also have a business community that also needs to be held accountable for employing illegals. That issue will be addressed again, at least by us.”

Carroll said that her success in the male orientated worlds of the military and politics serves as a role model to young women and a motivator to women to “never give up, plug away and be the best you can, be prepared and get yourself educated and just make it happen because the world is your oyster.”

Carroll is not the only well-known member of her family. Her son, Nolan, is a defensive back for the Miami Dolphins. She said her son is working to stay fit while the NFL and players continue talks to salvage the season and hopes that the “Dolphins to go the Super Bowl because I am ready for that ring.”

Nonetheless, Nolan’s fame does not let him off the good citizen hook.

“I tell him he too has a role to play in this because I expect him to make sure he stays as a good honest citizen because he also represents us,” she said.

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