Legislative Updates

Hochul Wins Election by Opposing Medicare Cuts

Last night was a big win for progress, and a big loss for Paul Ryan’s plan to cut Medicare. Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election in New York’s traditionally conservative 26th district. The critical issue in this election to replace Republican Rep. Chris Lee focused on the Paul Ryan budget plan’s major cuts to Medicare. Republican Jane Corwin, who ran against Hochul, said she supported the GOP’s plan – and the senior citizens composing 15-20% of her district didn’t approve.

Ryan’s plan proposes to cut Medicare, replace it with a voucher program and turn Medicaid into a state block grant program – but it doesn’t do anything to actually control costs. The Ryan Plan lessens healthcare costs to the taxpayers and federal government, pushing them directly onto the patient instead. On top of that, the Congressional Budget Office found that Ryan’s proposal would actually increase the total healthcare spending, quite contrary to the GOP’s pitch for it.

Oh, and did we mention that Ryan wants to lower taxes for the wealthy? His proposed budget includes a tax cut from 35% to 25% for some of the richest people in America. This is nothing new from the Republican Party, cutting services to the middle class while giving breaks to the elite, but it’s certainly disturbing.

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The GOP’s Not-So-Awesome Spring Break

Last month, just before adjourning for spring recess, the House passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal. The budget, which was supported by all but four Republican House members, decimates Medicare and Medicaid, makes deep cuts to education programs and preserves every single tax cut and loophole currently enjoyed by corporations and the wealthy.

It turns out that a lot of people that voted for these GOP representatives aren’t so happy about having to sacrifice their own retirement security to make sure that the wealthiest Americans can keep on amassing wealth. Think Progress put together this video of GOP congressmen across the country spending their spring breaks trying to defend their votes to peeved constituents at town hall meetings:

 

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