RELATED ITEM: 12 *Fair* Ways to Reduce the Federal Deficit http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=a20566d5-8292-4fc6-ac0a-f10d4bbc7edb
Congress faces stark choices in the coming months over how to lower deficits. There's a right way and a wrong way, Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a Senate speech on Tuesday. He has outlined a fair and progressive way to reduce red ink. It includes rolling back tax breaks for the wealthy, closing corporate loopholes and taking a hard look at the Pentagon budget. He also is leading the fight against proposals by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and others to cut Social Security, slash Medicaid and end Medicare as we know it by offering seniors vouchers to buy insurance.
Here's how Sanders described the Republican Medicare plan in Tuesday's speech:
"Let's just assume that a 70-year-old individual, 75-year-old individual walks into a doctor's office and the doctor says, 'Joe, Mary, I'm really sorry to tell you but you're dealing with cancer. We're going to have to send you to the hospital. There are a whole number of treatments that you are going to have to undertake and those treatments are going to cost you tens and tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.' That individual then goes to his or her insurance company and says, 'I have $8,000 to buy an insurance policy.' What do you think that insurance agent is going to tell that individual when that person is facing tens and tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills? That insurance company's function is to make money. They're not going to say, 'Oh, sure, thanks, give us the $8,000 so we can spend $50,000 on health care costs for you.' It ain't going to happen. That insurance company's going to say, 'There's the door.'"