Rep. Ryan Assails Democrats' 'Mediscare' Tactics

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 10:31 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says President Barack Obama and the Democrats have got to stop demagoguing Medicare. Ryan also said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the plan did not come from the right — but rather, that President Bill Clinton proposed it in 1999.

Paul Ryan, Medicare, Budget
Rep. Paul Ryan: "If we start continuing to demagogue this program, it's going to collapse." (Getty Images Photo)
“The president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare,” said Ryan, who denounced such tactics as “Mediscare.”

“This is an idea actually that didn't come from the right. This is the idea that came from Bill Clinton's bipartisan commission to save Medicare.

“We are saying don’t change benefits for a person over the age of 55 — people who are 55 and above have either retired or about to retire,” he said. “We think government should keep its promise. Because Medicare is over $30 trillion in the hole. You’ve got to fix it for our generation if you want to help the current generation and for our generation to have a program that counts on and the program we’re talking about is a program we have lots of experience with.”

The real irony is that Obamacare “takes $500 billion from Medicare not to make it more solvent but to put it on Obamacare,” Ryan said.

“Here’s the problem: Look, both parties have done this to each other,” Ryan said. “But if we start continuing to demagogue this program, it's going to collapse — it’s going to go bankrupt and we'll go into a debt crisis. The people who get . . . [hurt] first and worst are the elderly and the poor.

“That's who you need to protect and that’s what we’re trying to do by fixing this budget mess,” he said. “If we demagogue entitlement reform, then these programs themselves collapse and the people on these programs are the ones who are going to get hurt.”

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