Sherrod Brown to Obama: Don’t tamper with Medicare’s basic mission

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Sherrod Brown to Obama: Don’t tamper with Medicare’s basic mission

Washington Post – In the first real effort to organize Senate Democrats behind a demand that Obama stand firm against GOP efforts to do away with Medicare as we know it, Sherrod Brown is circulating a letter among Senate Dems urging Obama to give the thumbs down to any proposal that would alter the program’s basic mission.

The letter — which was sent over by a source — comes as some Democrats are imaginging the worst: That the President will not make it clear in his speech responding to Paul Ryan tomorrow that any proposals that tamper with the core idea underlying Medicare are a total non-starter. If Brown’s letter garners a lot of signatures within the Dem caucus, which it is likely to do, it could serve to draw a firm line.

The letter denounces the Ryan proposal as morally wrong for seeking to undo the social safety net, accuses Republicans of shifting the burden of deficit reduction downwards, and reminds the president of Medicare’s historic success in lifting seniors out of poverty:

We are writing to urge you to oppose turning Medicare into a voucher system as proposed in the House Republican’s FY2012 budget. Since the enactment of Medicare in 1965, America’s seniors have no longer lived in fear of losing affordable, comprehensive health insurance when they retire. Unfortunately, some in Congress want to dismantle Medicare in order to help offset the costs of tax cuts for the very wealthiest in our country.

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