Press Releases

Herrera Beutler Supports Sustainable Budget

Failure to Act will Endanger Medicare, Keep America on Path to Bankruptcy

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Washington, April 15, 2011 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today released the following statement regarding her vote on the 2012 budget:
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today released the following statement regarding her vote on the 2012 budget: 

“Citizens deserve to know the truth.  For decades, politicians in Washington, DC threw a spending party paid for by our nation’s credit card.  Now our debt has reached $14 trillion.  It is killing jobs and it threatens important programs like Medicare.  It’s no fun cleaning up after the party is over, but that’s what I was elected to do.  We can’t keep going this way.  It’s time to put the credit card away and clean up the mess.

“Citizens deserve the honest facts: if we don’t change course, our Medicare system will be bankrupt in 9 years.   If we don’t change our rate of deficit spending, our debt will be so crushing and so high that economic recovery will become permanently out of reach.  Interest rates will spiral out of control, which will make our housing market worse and make families’ debt payments even higher.  Higher interest rates will crush an already weak economy in Southwest Washington.  I was not sent to Congress to stand by and watch this disaster unfold. 

“Strengthening Medicare for current and future retirees, avoiding the devastating consequences of growing deficits and making necessary reforms to control our spending habits are the goals of this budget. I agree with these goals and that’s why I voted to support it.  

“This budget is not business as usual.  But the option of not reducing this debt and not putting Medicare back on solid footing would be disastrous for every American.  I voted in the best interests of people in Southwest Washington for a fact-based budget that puts our country back on a sustainable path.”

What the 2012 Budget Does For Medicare:

1) No one over 55 would see any changes to Medicare.  It will be preserved exactly as it is now.

2) People 54 and younger will receive Medicare Premium Support.  This will closely resemble the current Medicare Advantage program that more than 37% of seniors in Southwest Washington have already elected to use for their health care, and is similar to the health care plan Members of Congress receive.  They get to choose from a range of plans that best fit their needs.

3) This future Medicare Premium Support will be available to folks with greater health risks and will provide additional assistance to lower-income recipients.

4) This budget saves Medicare.  If we continue on the path we’re on, Medicare will be completely out of money in 2020, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.  This budget would make no changes for retirees and near-retirees, and would stabilize Medicare so that it is still available when younger Americans reach retirement.
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