Ryan Responds To Ad Implying His Medicare Plan Would Be 'Throwing Granny Off The Cliff'

David James
By David James | August 16, 2012 | 10:58 AM EDT

Yesterday afternoon, radio host Sean Hannity interviewed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) about the Medicare reform plan that he proposed in Congress and an opponent's suggestion that the plan would harm seniors.

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Hannity: "For the average person, and we have a big audience for all over the state of Florida, and all over the country- but you know, they’re trying to project an image that you want kick- I mean, and they ran the ad awhile back about a Paul Ryan lookalike- of you throwing granny over the cliff. Explain to everybody, and I went through an hour on the program yesterday explaining what your plan was, but I don’t think I can do it better than you. Now the President did cut $741 billion from Medicare, so he did cut Medicare. Explain what your plan is and why it’s necessary, and what it would mean for, say, an elderly person that’s living in Florida or maybe somebody that’s 50 and living in Florida- explain both cases."

Ryan: "It’s the President who took 716- the number is 716- billion dollars from the Medicare program to spend on Obamacare. That’s cuts to current seniors that will lead to less services for current seniors.

"We don’t do that. We actually say ‘end the raid and restore that’ so that those seniors today get the benefits that they organized their lives around. One more thing- the president, also in Obamacare, in addition to that raid of $716 billion from Medicare- he puts this new board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of putting further cuts on Medicare providers, which will clearly lead to denied care for current seniors.

"Here’s what we do. Our plan says ‘leave current seniors alone’. They already organized their lives around this promise that the government made to them, and we can fulfill that promise, but in order to fulfill that promise, you must reform the program for the younger generations- for people 54 and below. And the way we propose to reform it is a plan that is bi-partisan- it originated from the Clinton bi-partisan plan to save Medicare. It’s bi-partisan today, that says let future seniors- 54 and below- when they become Medicare eligible have a plan like the one I have as a Congressman, or Federal employees, where you have list of guaranteed coverage options to choose from, including traditional Medicare- and Medicare is subsidizing your premium based on who you are. Less for a wealthy person, more for a middle income person, and much more for a low income or sick person. That’s the best way to save the program, prevent it from going bankrupt.

"So the President raids it, then he puts a board in charge of cutting it, which hurts current seniors. We remove all of that, protect current seniors, save it for the next generation so we can prevent it from going bankrupt, which happens under the Obama plan."

Hannity: "So, even people under the age of 55- they still get traditional Medicare.

Ryan: "Oh of course. It’s among the options they can choose from. Here’s the idea: we believe that 50 million seniors should choose how their Medicare works for them, instead of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats appointed by President Obama. That’s the critical difference for future seniors, and this board starts cutting just in two years under Obamacare."

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