Conservative Seniors Organization Touts Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan in TV Ad

Jun 17, 2011 2:34pm

ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: The 60 Plus Association, a conservative seniors’ advocacy group, today launched a national television ad campaign today touting Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial Medicare plan.

“The Democrats and Obama are destroying Medicare,” said Jim Martin, chairman of the group that dubs itself as the conservative alternative to the more mainstream seniors’ lobbying group, AARP. “It’s time to put an end to their ‘mediscare’ tactics. The reality is that Medicare in its current form is going to bankrupt our nation.”

The 30-second ad heavily features House Budget Committee chairman Ryan and the group will spend $1.4 billion to run the ad on national cable television and local markets in Florida and Ohio.

Medicare has become one of the chief issues of contention in budget negotiations between the White House, Republicans and Democrats. Under Ryan’s plan, starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries would be subsidized for their plans instead of having the federal government pay them for each service, as it currently does. An individual’s income would determine how much money they are allocated.

The plan has yet to be digested by Americans. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released earlier this month found that 58 percent of Americans oppose Ryan’s plan and 56 percent think it would be harmful to senior citizens.

Republicans blame the high disapproval on misinformation being spread by Democrats.

Lawmakers are also looking at ways to reform Social Security, the fund for which will post a net deficit this year for the first time since the 1980s. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Social Security reserve will completely run out of funds by 2037.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that the AARP, the largest lobbying group for senior citizens, was dropping its longtime opposition to the cuts. The report triggered much backlash, but the group adamantly denied that’s the case and called the story “misleading.”

“Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security,” AARP chief executive Barry Rand said in a statement. “First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause.  Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.  Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.”

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