Ryan and fellow GOP members visited the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C. on Monday to participate in a town hall meeting. While inside the participants inside focused on the economy and jobs, outside the meeting, protesters specifically targeted Ryan's Medicare and Medicaid changes.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) led the protesters. The protesters chanted "No to Ryan; yes to Medicare." They carried signs that said "Keep your hands off my Medicare." Others carried signs that said "I care for Medicare," and protested any cuts to Social Security, as well.
Although Ryan's plan would not end Medicare per se, it would end the program as it is now known. According to Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), who spoke about the changes on the Thom Hartmann show on Friday, June 3 (podcasts available on iTunes). He said that each Medicare member would receive an $8,000 voucher. The voucher will be used to pay a private insurance company for a policy. The policy will cover costs, but anyone who knows how private insurance companies work, when not harnassed in an employee-based insurance plan, will realize the onus will be on the covered, not the coverer.
As Sanders and Hartmann put it, the Ryan plan is just another windfall for the private insurance industry. Sanders, speaking to a Medicare recipient on that day, compared the future to her results. She paid about $1,000 for a one week hospital stay. In the new world order, most of the cost would be hers, instead of the other way around.
Some have noted how different American society treats its graying members. In other countries, the elderly are revered and respected. That is certainly not how the Ryan plan would treat them.
Speaking to HuffPo, who was at the protest, Stephen Spitz, a Falls Church, Va., resident who was holding a sign that read "Hands off Social Security and Medicare" said "This is personal. "I'm going to be on Medicare in eight months, and I don't want it messed with."
Watch a HuffPo video on the protest.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons