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Cassidy Just Voted To Raise the Retirement Age To 70, Slash Benefits For Seniors, Make College Less Affordable

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Cassidy Cast His Fourth Votes To Pass Ryan Plan Ending Medicare As We Know It, RSC Budget Amendment Raising Retirement Age To 70

New Orleans, Louisiana – Bill Cassidy just cast his fourth votes in as many years to pass the Rep. Paul Ryan budget, which slashes retirement benefits for seniors, hurts middle-class families, and forces seniors to pay more, while billionaires pay less, and the Republican Study Committee budget, which raises the retirement age for Social Security to 70.

Here’s what Bill Cassidy just voted for today:

  • The RSC budget amendment raises the retirement age for Social Security to 70.
  • The Ryan budget ends traditional Medicare as we know it today by privatizing it and turning it into a voucher program, forcing seniors to pay thousands more for their health care.
  • It reopens the Medicare Part D donut hole for more than 65,000 Louisiana seniors.
  • It raises taxes on middle-class families by an average of $2,000 for families with children, while enacting tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.
  • It eliminates Pell Grant funding for part-time students, cutting funding for by more than $43 million and completely getting rid of Pell Grants for more than 9,000 students.
  • It slashes funding for education in Louisiana. It cuts Title I funding, leaving it unable to support the equivalent of 130 schools and more than 70,000 disadvantaged students in Louisiana. This could mean nearly 600 fewer teachers and aides without jobs. And it would lead to 360 fewer special education teachers, aides and other staff in Louisiana who are supported by federal funding.
  • And more than 2,000 victims of domestic violence in Louisiana would no longer be served by the STOP Violence Against Women program.

“Bill Cassidy has cast himself as the opponent of seniors in this election, and his agenda to raise the retirement age to 70, end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program and force seniors to pay thousands more, while awarding tax breaks to billionaires, would have disastrous consequences for seniors in Louisiana,” said Campaign for Louisiana Communications Director Andrew Zucker. “Since entering Congress Bill Cassidy has supported every major piece of legislation that would slash retirement benefits for as many as 650,000 Louisiana seniors. Cassidy’s agenda takes care of millionaires and billionaires at the expense of seniors and the middle class, and Louisianians simply can’t trust Bill Cassidy to fight for them in the Senate.”

BACKGROUND

2014: Bill Cassidy Voted For The FY 2015 Ryan Budget. [H. Con. Res. 96, Vote #177, 4/10/14]

  • 2013: Bill Cassidy Voted For The FY 2014 Ryan Budget.  [H. Con. Res. 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13]
  • 2012: Bill Cassidy Voted For The FY 2013 Ryan Budget. [H. Con. Res. 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12]
  • 2011: Bill Cassidy Voted For The FY 2012 Ryan Budget. [H. Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11]

2014: Bill Cassidy Voted For The FY 2015 Republican Study Committee. [H. Con. Res. 96, Vote #176, 4/10/14]

  • 2013: Cassidy Voted For The FY 2014 RSC Budget.  [H.Con.Res.25, Vote #86, 3/20/13]
  • 2012: Cassidy Voted For The FY 2013 RSC Budget. [H.Con.Res.112, Vote #149, 3/29/12]
  • 2011: Cassidy Voted For The FY 2012 RSC Budget. [H.Con.Res.34, Vote #275, 4/15/11]

The FY 2015 RSC Budget Raised The Retirement Age For Social Security To 70. “This budget would slowly phase in an increase in the Social Security full-retirement age. The full retirement age would continue the current-law’s gradual increase of two months per year beginning in 2022 until the full retirement age reaches 70.” [The FY 2015 RSC Budget, accessed 4/9/14]

  • The FY 2014 RSC Budget Increased The Medicare Retirement Age To 70. “To address the increased demands on Medicare, this budget proposes raising the age of Medicare eligibility, beginning in 2024, by two months every year beginning with those born in 1959 until the eligibility age reaches 70, bringing Medicare eligibility in parity with Social Security.” [Republican Study Committee FY 2014 Budget, accessed 5/10/13]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Will Force Seniors To Pay More To Remain In Medicare. Under the Ryan budget proposal, more than 45 million seniors could be forced to choose between traditional Medicare and a voucher program starting in 2024.  According to a previous Congressional Budget Office report, the proposal would force seniors who want to remain in traditional Medicare to pay $800 more per year than they would have under current law, raising premiums by 50 percent.  Furthermore, seniors electing to stay in traditional Medicare and avoid buying private insurance will pay $1,200 more than seniors in private plans.  Private plans would be permitted to tailor benefit packages to attract healthier beneficiaries and leave the sicker, more expensive patients for Medicare. Over time, Medicare would become less financially viable and would have to raise premiums, driving away more healthy beneficiaries and setting off a premium spiral that could unravel the program. [House Republican Budget Chairman’s Mark, 4/1/14; CBO,  9/13/14; Census, 2010; CAP, 4/1/14; DPCC, 3/13/13; CBPP, 3/15/13]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Raises Taxes On The Middle Class By $2,000, Giving Millionaires A Tax Cut Of Over $87,000 Each.  The Ryan budget proposes to lower tax rates for high-income earners from 39.6% to 25%, which would require the middle-class to pay more in taxes in order for the budget to balance as proposed.  A Tax Policy Center analysis of a similar proposal found that the tax reductions for high-income earners would cost $5.7 trillion, making it mathematically impossible “to enact Rep. Ryan’s tax policies in a deficit-neutral tax reform without including big tax increases for low- and middle-income taxpayers.”  Taxpayers with income exceeding $1 million would receive an average net tax decrease of over $87,000, according to a White House analysis.  In order to pay for these tax breaks, the Ryan budget would  raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of at least $2,000.  [House Republican Budget Chairman’s Mark, 4/1/14; New York Times Editorial, 4/01/14; TPC, 3/15/13; TPC, 8/1/12; CTJ, 4/2/14; WH, 4/1/14; WH, 4/8/14]

  • The Ryan Plan “Would End Traditional Medicare By Capping Spending And Offer Vouchers To Buy Private Insurance.” “The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Obama pushed for doesn’t cut Medicare; it simply reduces projected future increases in costs by $700 billion over 10 years. […] Those same reductions in the future growth of Medicare are contained in the budget bills sponsored by Ryan and approved by the same House Republicans who now say they’ll campaign against the provision. Romney has endorsed the Ryan plan. The difference is the savings in the Republican bill don’t go to help seniors with their prescription drug costs. In fact, Ryan’s legislation increases the amount senior citizens will have to pay for drugs since it repeals the health-care legislation that provides the extra subsidy. Ryan’s budget bill also would end traditional Medicare by capping spending and offer vouchers to buy private insurance.” [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
  • The Ryan Plan “Would Essentially End Medicare.” “Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington. The budget has been prepared by Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, and it represents the most complete attempt so far by Republicans to make good on their promises during the 2010 midterm elections to cut government spending and deficits. Though Rep. Ryan based the Medicare portion of his budget on a previous plan created in collaboration with a Democrat, Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and long-time budget expert, the current plan isn’t likely to get much Democratic support. Instead, it will set up a broad debate over spending and the role of government heading into the 2012 general election. The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Reopens The Medicare Part D Donut Hole For 65,043 Louisiana Seniors. [White House, 4/9/14]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Would Cut Pell Grants Funding For To Louisiana Students By $43.2 Million.  [White House, 4/9/14]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Would Cut Pell Grants Entirely For 9,030 Louisiana Students. [White House, 4/9/14]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Cuts To Title I Funding, Leaving It Unable To Support The Equivalent Of 130 Schools And 70,740 Disadvantaged Students In Louisiana, Potentially Resulting In 590 Fewer Teachers And Aides With Jobs. [White House, 4/9/14]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Would Lead To 360 Fewer Special Education Teachers, Aides, And Other Staff In Louisiana Supported By Federal Funding. [White House, 4/9/14]

The FY 2015 Ryan Budget Would Result In 2,058 Fewer Victims Of Domestic Violence In Louisiana From Being Served By The STOP Violence Against Women Program.  [White House, 4/9/14]

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