Senior Citizens Grill Republican Congressman At Town Hall For Supporting Ryan Plan To Kill Medicare (VIDEO)

When senior citizens turn 65, they expect that Medicare will take care of their health needs. They paid into the system all of their lives, and have earned the medical benefits they have waited so long to receive. Medicare represents a promise made by the government to senior citizens, and it’s one of the most successful and popular programs ever created in America.

But Republican congressman Paul Ryan has a plan that would eliminate Medicare as we know it, turning the popular single-payer system into a coupon program. Instead of getting a Medicare card that provides guaranteed government health insurance, seniors would get a voucher worth a set amount to go buy private insurance from a company who could then deny you care to avoid losing profits. Of course, private insurance will only cherry-pick the healthiest seniors, leaving the rest to wither on the vine and die along with the last remnants of the government program known as Medicare.

Republican Rep. Dan Benishek of Michigan is a supporter of the Paul Ryan plan to destroy Medicare, and his constituents are not amused. During a town hall in Saulte Sainte Marie, Michigan, over a dozen senior citizens voiced their opposition to Benishek’s support of the Ryan budget. Annoyed with his own constituents, Benishek asked them to offer better ideas to keep Medicare sustainable in the future and he didn’t like the answers he got.

Among the ideas offered by the senior citizens were raising taxes on the wealthy, ending subsidies to big oil, and passing universal health care. After dismissing tax increases on the rich, Benishek told them that oil companies don’t receive tax subsidies, even though they do. In fact, the oil industry receives about $4 billion a year in subsidies. Benishek is either ignorant or lying to the people he represents.

The conversation then turned to health care and specifically the Affordable Care Act, which Benishek, a former physician, wants to repeal. According to ThinkProgress, Benishek “told the audience that the United States has the best health care system in the world, before he was literally laughed at by several attendees. “We have the highest life spans in the world,” argued Benishek. Several women in the audience quickly pointed out that in fact, many countries with universal health care place higher than the United States in terms of life expectancy, including Canada, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. The United States ranks 50th, just behind South Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I don’t believe that’s true,” said Benishek. “How can you not know that, you’re a medical doctor?” one woman replied.”

Here’s the video via ThinkProgress:

Benishek is just the first Republican to get slammed by constituents at a town hall this spring. Undoubtedly, more Republicans will hold town halls as summer approaches. The only question is, will they decide to avoid their constituents by holding town halls that people have to pay money to get into, or will they simply make them invitation only? The video footage of this town hall wasn’t even supposed to be filmed, as the sponsor of the town hall, the Chamber of Commerce, threatened to end the town hall upon discovering that the event was being recorded by an alert constituent in the crowd. When Paul Ryan proposed a similar budget last year, Republicans experienced a similar backlash from their constituents at town hall meetings. Those meetings didn’t go so well, so Republicans banned constituents from recording the events, screened questions in advance, cancelled events, and made them invitation only or pay to play. In other words, Republicans knew they had angered the American people and were too cowardly to face them. One thing is for certain, people are once again angry at Republicans, and they have a hell of a lot more to be angry about this time around.

 

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