Larsen hits Republicans on Medicare

Second District Congressman Rick Larsen’s telephone town hall Thursday focused on seniors and what he sees as the detrimental effects the Republican budget proposal would have on Medicare.

More than 2,800 callers dialed in to listen to Larsen’s third telephone town hall this year. Larsen explained the House of Representatives’ budget discussion, which he said would have a huge impact on Medicare.

“The majority’s budget on Medicare would end Medicare as we know it,” Larsen said, referring to the budget proposal that was put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

While the budget wouldn’t change Medicare for people ages 55 and older, people aged 54 and younger would be dealt a new voucher-style program.

Larsen said this would shift the cost of healthcare to seniors and their families, predicting seniors would be stuck with “skyrocketing medical bills.”

Also, health insurance providers would only market to healthier seniors, creating a two-tiered health care system for seniors, Larsen said, arguing that Medicare needs a broad pool of seniors to make insurance work.

Larsen said he would rather see an approach that would pay doctors for the quality and not the quantity of care, which would mean healthier seniors overall.