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Stark Choices in Tonight's Debate

Retiree Leader: Stark Choices for
Medicare in Tonight’s Debate

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in advance of tonight’s vice-presidential debate.

“Tonight’s debate will address a fundamental question: does Medicare exist to protect seniors’ health or insurance companies’ wealth?

“Retirees, worried about losing their ability to see a doctor and fill a prescription, will tonight hear two diametrically different views on Medicare.  Vice President Biden can proudly tout the Administration’s landmark accomplishment of lowering the price of prescription drugs, giving seniors free access to life-saving tests and screenings, and strengthening Medicare’s finances by cracking down on wasteful and inefficient spending of tax dollars by private businesses.

“Contrasting this will be Rep. Paul Ryan, architect of a plan to dramatically change Medicare by steering seniors toward a risky voucher plan in which they would buy Medicare coverage directly from insurance companies.  The very reason Medicare was created nearly 50 years ago was to spare seniors the high cost and discriminatory practices of the private insurance market. Other than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who believes that what insurance companies really need is more profit and more power over middle class Americans?

“Not only is Medicare one of the greatest differences between the two parties, but it is perhaps the area on which voters, particularly seniors, have been most shamefully misled.  Opponents of progress are trying to scare us into going back to a failed, broken health care system, one in which insurance companies reaped outrageous profits at the expense of those most in need. 

“Tonight, America’s seniors will need to choose between these two sharply divergent views of Medicare.”

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The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of over 4 million retirees and their families.

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