Yesterday the US Senate voted 57 to 40 against a budget plan, written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which would end Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program to buy private insurance as if any company would sell such a policy to an elderly person who is ill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), stated that the budget plan “would turn over seniors’ health to profit-hungry insurance companies. It would let bureaucrats decide what tests and treatments seniors get. And it would ask seniors to pay more for their health care in exchange for fewer benefits. That’s a bad deal all around.”
Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Scott Brown of Massachusetts voted with Democrats to reject the budget plan. Rand Paul (R-KY) also opposed the plan, calling for greater budget cuts. Last month, the US House voted to pass the budget plan.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, “House and Senate Republicans are on record: they want to break the bedrock promise that this country made to our seniors-that after a lifetime of hard work, they would be able to depend on Medicare-at the same time that Republicans are giving tax breaks to Big Oil. On the other hand, Democrats are committed to preserving and strengthening Medicare while creating jobs, responsibly reducing the deficit, and growing our economy.”