Press Release

June 3, 2011
Focus Is on Medicare and the Economy

LA PLATA, MD — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today visited Charles County to talk with seniors about the importance of preserving the Medicare and Medicaid programs and to hold a roundtable discussion with religious leaders from the community. 

At the Richard R. Clark Senior Center, Senator Cardin called the defeat last week by the Senate of the budget plan proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) “a victory for  seniors and a clear message that America will not tolerate the dismantling of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

The Ryan budget plan, which passed the House of Representatives in April, would have jeopardized the health of seniors by reinstating the Medicare Part D coverage gap, and eliminating Medicare as we know it.  The Ryan plan would have turned Medicare into a voucher program, more than doubling average out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries from $5,630 to $12,500, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

“Today, 775,000 Maryland seniors rely on Medicare for their health care needs.  To attack such a successful program is to put seniors at the mercy of private insurance companies,” said Senator Cardin.  “The Ryan plan also would have converted Medicaid into a block grant to the states, reducing its funding by $770 billion over 10 years. CBO has estimated that these reductions would force governors across the nation to either raise taxes, reduce services — such as nursing home care — or cut people from the rolls.”

In the afternoon, Senator Cardin held a roundtable discussion with religious leaders regarding jobs, housing and the economy at the New Life Church.

“As we continue to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, I want to join with members of the religious community to hear their concerns and work on ways to provide opportunities and assistance to residents of Charles County,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.