Strickland Statement on 50th Anniversary of Medicare

Today, Ted Strickland released the following statement on the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Medicare services:

“Medicare has transformed our country for the better and helped more Americans retire with stability and security -- we need to protect this vital program for seniors today and for the next generation. Right now, retirement security seems out of reach for so many working families, which is why protecting the earned benefits of Medicare and Social Security is more important than ever. That is why in the Senate I will fight all efforts to raise the retirement age, to turn Medicare into a voucher program or to break the promise of the Medicare guarantee. But in Washington, Senator Portman has jeopardized retirement security for Ohio’s seniors at every turn – he’s proposed raising the retirement age, cutting billions from the Medicare program, and even voted to end Medicare as we know it. It’s just another glaring example of how Portman is pushing the agenda of his rich and powerful friends, while Ohio’s working families pay the price. I believe we must stand up for our seniors, protect vital programs like Medicare and Social Security, and ensure that every senior can retire with the security and dignity they have earned -- and that is exactly what I’ll do in the Senate.”

During a speech to the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans in Columbus, Strickland recently released his Ohio Families First Plan to ensure retirement security, highlighting his proposals to protect Medicare, preserve Social Security, and advocate for Ohio’s seniors and their families in the Senate. 

BACKGROUND: SENATOR PORTMAN’S RECORD OF HURTING OHIO SENIORS AND JEOPARDIZING RETIREMENT SECURITY:

  • Portman voted for the FY 12 Ryan Budget, which would end “Medicare as we know it.” In 2011, Portman voted for the FY 12 Ryan Budget. According to NPR, “With the federal deficit in their sights, Republicans are preparing a budget proposal that would reportedly trim $4 trillion in government spending over the next decade. How do they do it? Ending Medicare as we know it is a key part. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the man with the plan.” [CQ, 5/25/11, H.Con.Res.34, Vote 77, 5/25/11; NPR, Health Shots, 4/4/11]

  • Portman’s OMB budget proposed cutting $66 billion in Medicare over five years. “At the same time, Bush's budget request will propose cost curbs on Medicare providers, a cap on subsidy payments to wealthier farmers and an increase to $4,600 in the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students. […] Portman said Bush's budget submission contains about a 1 percentage point cut in the rapid growth in Medicare which averages almost 8 percent a year without changes to squeeze about $66 billion in savings over five years from the federal health care program for the elderly.” [Associated Press, 2/2/07]

  • Portman supported raising the eligibility age of Medicare, meaning higher out-of-pocket costs for retiring seniors, on average. [Wall Street Journal, Rob Portman, 7/21/14; Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 8/23/11]

  • Portman supported raising the Social Security retirement age, meaning an “across-the-board cut in benefits.” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/18/14; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/5/15]

  • PolitiFact: “Portman was unquestionably a [Social Security] privatization champion.” [PolitiFact, 7/28/10]

  • VIDEO: Portman said he “strongly” supports President George W. Bush’s Social Security privatization plan, calling it “such an exciting proposal.” [House Budget Committee, Hearing, 2/9/05]

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