Congressman Paul “Never Pass Up a Chance to Cut Benefits” Ryan’s latest deficit scheme adds a new set of hostages to the ongoing debt ceiling/government shutdown crises created by House Republicans.  Since the GOP wasn’t successful in withholding health insurance to millions of Americans already benefiting from Obamacare their new fallback position is to cut benefits for middle-class seniors in Medicare. 

Seems their promise that the GOP “has to get something” but they “don’t even know what it is” is still their game plan.  In the meantime our government remains shut down and the threat of default looms. 

While Ryan continues to pretend that his plan to further means-test Medicare only impacts the wealthy the truth (as usual) is quite different.  Further means-testing Medicare would hit 25% of beneficiaries...not just the wealthy.   In fact, a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that this would affect individuals with incomes equivalent to $47,000 – meaning it would reach many middle-income Americans. 

According to Ryan’s logic: when it comes to seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare: $47,000 means you’re wealthy.  But, remember the tax debate?  Ryan and his conservative pals argued then that earning $250,000 didn’t even qualify as being wealthy.  However, now middle-class seniors in Medicare are being threatened by GOP hostage takers with benefit cuts.