House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House Republicans' proposed 2012 budget does not reflect the nation's priorities as it makes cuts to healthcare for seniors while it offers tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses that export American jobs.
Democrats rip GOP budget proposal
“Passing the budget and addressing our nation's economic challenges requires us to seek compromise,” Pelosi said in a news conference a day after the House Budget Committee passed its fiscal 2012 budget resolution. “But threatening seniors' health and cutting off our children's education just to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires is not the middle ground that we strive to find.”
Joining Pelosi was Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, who said he thinks the current battle over the short-term spending bill is a preview of what's to come for fiscal 2012 budget discussions.
“There's no dispute about this: Seniors under that proposal will no longer have the Medicare option,” Van Hollen said of the Republicans' budget. “They will be required to go into the private health insurance market and fight for a policy and try and get a policy when the funds, vouchers—whatever you want to call it—they're given are going steadily downward in relationship to the rising healthcare costs,” he said.
“It is rationing by income, and you will not be able to find the doctor you use if the plan that you can now afford doesn't have your doctor,” he said. “Everyone's payroll taxes for Medicare now and all of the premiums that seniors are paying for Medicare—where do they go? They go to the insurance industry, that stands to make a bonanza out of this, and seniors are left on their own.”
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