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Trump, Working with Speaker Ryan, Reneges on Promise to Seniors Not to Cut Medicare

November 16, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, condemned Republican plans to cut Medicare.  Her statement follows:


“Even before President-elect Trump is sworn into office, Speaker Ryan is pledging to work with him to break the backs of American seniors by phasing out Medicare.


For years, Speaker Ryan has promoted a cold-hearted plan to dismantle Medicare as we know it.  His plan would phase out this critical program and replace it with a voucher program, in which seniors would receive premium support payments to purchase health plans from private insurance companies. This is the plan the Speaker included in the House Republican budgets, and it is still discussed on his website.


However, cutting Medicare is not what President-elect Trump promised the American people.  Throughout his campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed that he would not cut Medicare. He ran television ads in Pennsylvania, in which he stood in front of the camera and pledged to ‘save Social Security and Medicare without cuts.’ Back in December of 2015, Trump promised seniors at a rally in Manassas, Virginia, ‘we’re not going to cut Medicare.’


One might have expected Republicans to leave Medicare alone after last week’s election. Yet Speaker Ryan said in an interview on Fox News that restructuring Medicare is part of his plan to repeal Obamacare. Now, in yet another flip, Trump’s transition website states that he will ‘modernize Medicare.’ What both the Speaker and President-elect fail to mention is, when they say “modernize,” they mean subjecting our nation’s seniors to the private insurance market. 


Medicare is a successful program that has provided quality health care to millions of American seniors since its creation in 1965. More than 55 million seniors depend upon Medicare in the United States, including more than 5.6 million in my home state of California, as well as 2.5 million in Pennsylvania and 1.3 million in Virginia, the states where Trump made his aforementioned campaign promises.


Medicare enables American seniors to see our doctors, obtain affordable prescription drugs, and get the quality medical care we need in our retirement years. 


I call upon Speaker Ryan to promise that he will never again try to cut Medicare, and I call upon the President-elect to keep the promises he made to the American people and protect Medicare for seniors across this great country.”