National Partnership for Women & Families

Ryan Approach Would Cause Real Harm to Vulnerable Patients

Statement of Debra L. Ness, Campaign for Better Care
Washington, D.C. — April 5, 2011 —
"The Campaign for Better Care is working to protect vulnerable older patients with multiple health problems, and ensure that they can access well-coordinated, quality health care. We are deeply concerned about the budget proposal released this morning by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan because it would make that goal much harder to achieve. The approaches reflected there would do deep and significant harm to the very patients who rely on our health care system the most.

Block granting Medicaid is nothing more than shifting costs to those Americans who can least afford it. It also sets in motion a way for the federal government to systematically back away from its commitment to help provide affordable health care to the most vulnerable among us.

Turning Medicare into a voucher program undermines one of the most important elements of retirement financial security. It would put millions of future retirees — many of whom will have multiple chronic health conditions — at a huge financial risk. Moving Medicare away from a social insurance program to a voucher system is nothing more than a cost shift onto older Americans that constitutes reneging on a commitment to America’s retirees.

We urge Congress to reject this irresponsible proposal, and instead look for ways to reduce the deficit that don’t deny essential health care and support to our most vulnerable patients and their family caregivers."

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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