Writer defends Martha Roby

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dear Editor:

I write regarding a recent letter that mischaracterized the impact of the House-passed Republican budget on Medicare. The writer incorrectly claimed that the budget would “kill Medicare in ten years” and harm seniors over the age of 65.

Actually, the opposite is true. The budget, which Rep. Martha Roby supported, calls for repairs to Medicare so that this financially troubled program remains in place for future generations. In doing so, it makes no changes for anyone over the age of 55. For those under 55, Medicare would continue to pay for medical treatment as individuals reach the age of eligibility, but increased competition would help drive down taxpayer costs. Without these savings, Medicare will go bankrupt in 13 years.

By contrast, President Obama’s controversial health care reform law did nothing to sustain Medicare, cutting billions of dollars from the program to help pay for a host of newly created government programs.

Washington has a spending problem. The federal government spends money that our country does not have by borrowing money that we cannot pay back. Any serious effort to rein in spending must include changes to mandatory programs, which represent sixty percent of the federal budget. Failure to address Medicare is akin to kicking the can down the road. Our government can do better.

The people sent Rep. Martha Roby to Washington to make tough choices, cut spending, and help put our country back on track toward job creation. The budget, which would sustain Medicare while cutting $6.2 trillion in spending over ten years, is a significant step in that direction. While we should always respect opposing views, we should never tolerate efforts to confuse or scare our seniors with false information.

Benny Jo Sasser