WASHINGTON – Facing cuts and a voucher proposal in a new budget plan, U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart took time on the House of Representatives floor yesterday to remind lawmakers of the essential task ahead – to save Medicare from unnecessary partisan cuts.
Enyart highlighted the need to preserve Medicare, citing correspondence from a Du Quoin woman, Carolyn Morgan, who relies on the program.
The 12th District of Illinois includes 122,380 constituents covered by Medicare. Over 28,000 individuals utilize Medicare Advantage as well. “Simply put – we cannot balance the budget on the backs of our seniors,” said Enyart. “Many of whom have spent a lifetime paying into this system. It must be there for them when they need it most.”
Highlights from the statement:
“Medicare is vital not only to my district, but our entire country – which is why my fellow colleagues and I should support its promise to all our citizens who have earned it, who have paid for it through their taxes and who now rely on it for a stable health care system.”
“122,380 constituents from the 12th district of Illinois participate in the Medicare program. That’s one out of every seven people in my district. Many of these constituents are disabled, and almost all are on a fixed or limited income. Medicare gives these citizens the opportunity to receive essential medical care and to take part in preventive care programs designed to maintain good health, which lowers the cost of healthcare – lowers the cost.”
“Of those 122,000 Southern Illinoisans, over 28,000 also participate in Medicare Advantage. That’s 1 in 4 taking part in a program specifically designed for those seniors who have high rates of chronic disease. Medicare Advantage focuses on prevention and disease management, which reduces the need for unnecessary hospitalizations – keeping our most vulnerable populations healthier and out of the hospital waiting room.”
“The proposed Republican budget also implements what they label a premium support system – a plan to move Medicare to a voucher program. I vehemently oppose this proposition. Our seniors don’t need a health care coupon – they need health care.”
“Seniors like Carolyn Morgan from DuQuoin, Illinois. Carolyn needed Medicare’s help in March of 2013 when she became ill and was hospitalized, put on oxygen, and given a daily regimen of prescription drugs. I hold her letter to my office in my hand. Carolyn states, ‘I cannot afford out of pocket healthcare. My supplemental insurance is useless without Medicare, so it has been wasted money every month.’”
“I know I’ll be spending the remainder of this congressional session fighting for Carolyn. Fighting for our seniors and disabled, to make sure the health care promises we made so many years ago, are not in danger from partisan budget cuts.”