Wasserman Schultz: GOP budget proposal, 'death trap for seniors'
April 14th, 2011
04:03 PM ET
11 years ago

Wasserman Schultz: GOP budget proposal, 'death trap for seniors'

Washington (CNN)– Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stood by her comments that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal is a "death trap for seniors" in a CNN interview Thursday.

The incoming head of the Democratic National Committee reasoned that dramatic cuts in state funding within the GOP proposal would put seniors living in nursing homes under Medicare at risk.

"You are going to have some seniors not survive because they won't be able to either get access to a nursing home or they will get kicked out of a nursing home and they will have to make it on their own," Wasserman Schultz said Thursday on CNN's American Morning.

The GOP budget drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would have seniors purchase private health care insurance from an insurance exchange with the government subsidizing premiums up to a limit.

Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC earlier in April that Paul Ryan's plan would be a "death trap" for seniors because it would force the elderly to pay a heightened amount for health insurance each year.

During Wednesday's address, President Obama likened the system under the GOP proposal as "a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs."

The president's long-term budget proposal includes limited cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Filed under: Budget • Debbie Wasserman Schultz • Medicaid • Medicare
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    [The Republicans are doing what is necessary to bring our economy up and unemployment down. Watch and learn]

    The Republicans are the ones that brought the economy down and under Bush, more unemployment was LOST – We did learn!!!

    April 14, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. lynn

    Toss all the old people over the edge, no need for SS, Medicare or health care. It's the patriotic thing to do. And Palin screamed Death Panels over Obama's Health Insurance overhaul, look who is pushing for Death Panels now.

    April 14, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    You know what the GOP will say: " Hey, its their own fault they got old, they did not prepare for this. Now where is that tax cut Mr. Koch told me to get for him? He's really been hurting, you know?"

    That will be their defense, along with " Obama is a Muslim/communist/ Nazi": cue Victoria Jackson's entrance.

    April 14, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Rick in AZ

    The Republican Party at its core is a "Faith Based" organization. One of their Articles of Faith is that tax cuts to the rich will create jobs. No matter how much emperical evidence to the contrary, no matter how many times in any number of ways this idea is debunked it is still an Article of Faith and it is heresy for them to deny it. Another Article of Faith is that President Obama was not born in the USA. Once again no matter how many times one presents evidence that he is indeed a "Natural Born" citizen they will deny this. It is useless to try to reason with them or any other fanatic.

    April 14, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Len

    Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, 2002, meet with Dick Cheney and told him the Bush Tax cuts would lead to an alarming risk to the Federal Deficit. Cheney said "Deficits Don't Matter". One year later O'Neil was fired. Cheney asked about the incidence in 2004 said, "Deficits really don't Matter"......O'Neil asked about his views regarding the Bush tax cuts, said, costs could cause the Federal Deficit to reach into the the Trillions. I guess he was right.

    But still the GOP and TEA Party just want to cut, cut, cut and it is programs that effect the middle class and poor. We are not a very intelligient voting block....Just look what has happened in the States that have GOP Governors.......middle class and the poor are hurt. Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs......maybe people filling for unemployment went up this week because of what the GOP governors are doing to their state.

    Wake up folks

    April 14, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Just Sayin

    So, if nothing changes for people over 55 ... then what is the problem??? Debbie ... did you forget that part?

    April 14, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. BeanerECMO

    If it's not the race card, it's the fear card. Where is my ration of cat/dog food?

    April 14, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. they call me "tater salad"

    Four and the door could obviously use a little of that "watch and learn" stuff, as well............Never gonna happen though!

    April 14, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Steve Jackson

    The GOP budget is a death trap for all working people of all age retired or just starting out the stell do everything against the working people they can't get it in there empty heads they work for the people not just the rich or big companies we should be the only ones to say if they get a pay raise or get anything not themselves saying yes or no Out with them all

    April 14, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    terdy, va
    We've watched the GOP plan in the past and learned that they don't work. How'd those Bush tax cuts work for unemployment?
    Pretty well and thanks for asking. Once they were re-instated, unemployment dropped last month at a rate faster than any time in the last 27 years. Just show the people who create jobs something to be confident with and they will do what is needed. Raise their taxes and don't expect them to go out looking for new employees as a response!

    April 14, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Positive

    She is absolutely right! Shame on Republicans for even proposing this!

    April 14, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Poser

    @Four and The Door
    The Republicans are doing what is necessary to bring our economy up and unemployment down. Watch and learn.

    Do you mean stuff like tax cuts for the top 2%. We did that starting in 2001 and the economy crashed. You remember 2008 was before President Obama was POTUS don't you? So, what happened to all the jobs the GOP was supposed to create? I would say it was a colossal failure. We watched all right. There is nothing to learn from the GOP except what NOT to do.

    In terms of replacing Medicare with a voucher program, does anybody actually believe that individuals buying private health insurance will get a good deal? WTF. In addition, the GOP would like to repeal the health care law which would make it legal again to deny coverage or drop coverage when you get sick. How is that good for seniors? How many seniors don't have a pre-existing condition or don't get sick? The GOP plan is insanity.

    I have been paying for health insurance for over 20 years and will continue to buy health insurance until I'm of retirement age. I pay taxes. I would rather pay a bit more in taxes until I retire with a guarantee of health care than to pay a little less now and have my life savings taken by insurance companies (or by the hospital if I get sick and dropped) when I retire. Remember, health insurance companies are not in business to provide health coverage. They are in business to make money! Covering seniors is not profitable unless the premiums are outrageous.

    April 14, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Howard

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be guarding junk yards in dangerous neighborhoods. This rabid, in your face, radical, democratic fanatic, is the perfect stooge for the corrupt Obama administration.

    April 14, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. rob

    To terdy, va
    Unemployment during the Bush years averaged 5.5% with lows of 4.7%. We had record revenues inflows due to his tax cuts (Extended by Obama in Dec) even fighting 2 wars and the effects of 9/11. We were promised by The Obama Admin that it would not go above 8% if we passed the 800 BILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS. Jobs are not created by Government spending, jobs are created by taking risks and investing in businesses that grow and hire more people and support other businesses. This happens best in an environment where the Govt taxes less and regulates less.

    April 14, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Dave

    To Four and the Door, you my frien dare miguided. The republicans have given tax breaks to the rich for several years, yet there is no job creation. We have watched and still have no lesson to learn from

    April 14, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Fred In LA

    Obviously the Democrats are the Party of No. They talk about taxing the rich but no mention of stopping the tax breaks for corporations that set up shop in other countries. (In fact both Party's are guilty of this) We can solve all our deficit problems very easily. Eliminate all loopholes and impose a 15% flat tax on everybody. No exceptions. That includes Corporations as well.

    April 14, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Fred In LA

    Uh Dave, that stimulus fiasco did a fantastic job of creating employment! Snoblama is a clueless. Always a day late and a few trillion dollars short.

    April 14, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Do you mean stuff like tax cuts for the top 2%.
    Republicans passed tax breaks for everyone, regardless of how much money they make. The Democrats would not do that.
    But I gotta admit, the Democratic Spin Machine is very good. You look on this board and see regular citizens screaming for higher taxes. Only in America!

    April 14, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Republican Robber Baron

    The GOP is peddling a bunch of bull with Ryan's "voucher" plan. So deny people medicare / SS so the rich can get even richer?
    Shame on the Republicans.

    April 14, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Gerald Carmichael

    Howard Dean protege' evidently. No facts just hysteria. That seems to be sufficient since they don't have to answer to the "progressive" press, so why not! Maybe someone will believe this nonsense. Democrats want whats best for the little people. Republicans eat little people.....

    April 14, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    It was ok when the wannabe "numb nuts" was yammerin' about "death panels" but now the GOP wants to "refudiate" death traps? Next they will be saying "cross hairs" and "don't retreat, reload" is incendiary rhetoric!

    The GOP hypocrisy never ceases to amaze, but it is fun to watch the squeal.

    Debbie they are not just going after the elderly, which will be kicked out of the nursing homes that close down when Medicaid becomes a "block grant" that governors can use to balance the state budget and throw the old folks out in the cold Pompadour Perry is already making cuts to Medicaid here in TX that will close 800+ nursing homes.

    But the GOP is a not a discriminatory killer, they are also after the young and helpless, they want to cut WIC for babies and pre-natal care to those zygotes, the profess to care so much about.

    They are pro-life, but at the first breath of air, you are on your own!

    Cut Medicare? Go ahead, ‘cuz you see at 60 I got no dog in this hunt as I still get the “old” Medicare plan.

    I am trying out this new version of the GOP “christianity”, in which “I have mine so screw you" are such loyal devotees.

    April 14, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Gerald Carmichael

    BTW, what will the poor people and the seniors do when the Government can't pull more money out of their collective butts?

    April 14, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "The Republicans are doing what is necessary to bring our economy up and unemployment down. Watch and learn."

    Hey, genius, we've been watching our country follow their trickle-down daydream magic-pixie-dust flat-earth-thinking voodoo economic ideology down right down the yellow brick road to the plutocratic wonderland we're living in right now. Most of us have learned all there is to know about it: it's broken...in fact, so broken that it has the exact opposite effect of what they say it has because the world works in the exact opposite way they say it works. What goes up, don't come down. Greed ISN'T good. The rich and coroprations CAN'T be trusted. They are NOT "job creators," they are competition stiflers. Altruism is dead. The GOP is a neverending fountain of steaming ideological crap. And you know how we know? THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE.

    April 14, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Gerald Carmichael

    At the mercy of the insurance companies or the government. At least you get to choose. Democrats don't want you to choose because the all knowing and benevolent government will take care of you.

    I'm just totally pissed at the dishonest bstrds.

    April 14, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. MAC

    Well, I guess the greatest generation and their kids are as selfish as the younger generations, the Me- Gen and the X-Gen. We need to cut entitlements because we are taxed enough already. Defense and Treasury with a strong common monetary system are the only Constitutionally required spending. Everythingelse are entitlements!!!!!. What are you big government spenders going to do when the country is broke or your dollars are worth nothing because of being devalued. I would rather do the sacraficing now then do that to my children and grand children. Maybe if we stopped this lifetime welfare state people would be reponsiblefor their own actions. I have worked well over 40 hours a week for my family so I do not feel soory for those working 40 hours a week or less. Get more than one job!

    April 14, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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