Schumer Has Already Seen This Medicare Movie

Senator Chuck Schumer is currently in China, but he still managed to email supporters this morning, imploring them to sign an online petition against Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

“Republicans will end Medicare” was the subject line, bluntly laying out the Democrats’ line of attack against the Republicans’ deficit-reduction plan.

Ryan’s idea is for seniors to begin receiving a set amount of money, starting in 2022, that they can spend on private insurance plans, a proposal that the Congressional Budget Office said could force seniors to pay more out-of-pocket. Ryan has defended it as a way to inject free market principles into a system that’s becoming progressively more expensive as medical costs rise, and Republicans have made a point of saying the changes won’t affect anyone who is currently 55 or older.

“We’ve seen this movie before, back when it was called Privatize Social Security,” Schumer wrote. “We stood together when George W. Bush made that proposal, and we defeated it.” (Other Democrats have opted for “Privatizing Ryan” jokes.)

Ryan’s plan has been something of a gift for Schumer and the Democrats, who have struggled with their messaging since Republicans won back control of the House in November. Schumer was appointed the message guru for the Democratic caucus, but has been forced to mostly play defense, as Republican cuts dominated the narrative and helped the G.O.P. extract deep budget cuts for the current fiscal year.

Now, Democrats are hoping they’ve found their angle, as they brace for fights over the debt ceiling and next year’s budget.

Here’s the full letter, co-signed by Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, and sent out from Boxer’s PAC:


Stop Republicans from ending Medicare.                                 Sign the petition!

House Republicans just passed — on a party-line vote — a plan to end Medicare as we know it.

They claim their plan saves money, but what it actually does is force seniors to pay much more and get far less. It’s outrageous that the Republicans are trying to destroy Medicare for one reason only: to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires — something the public opposes by wide margins.

We’ve seen this movie before, back when it was called Privatize Social Security. We stood together when George W. Bush made that proposal, and we defeated it.

Now we need to stick together again to stop them from privatizing Medicare, and breaking the promise of coverage that our seniors have paid for throughout their lives.

Join us and help stop Republicans from ending Medicare as we know it — sign our petition today at

Medicare is one of the most popular social safety net programs in the country, and with good reason. It has kept seniors healthy and out of poverty for generations.

Every working American pays into Medicare throughout their professional lives. It’s just plain wrong to deny seniors benefits they have earned.

It’s wrong to raise costs for seniors — and give them less in return — by forcing them into the private insurance market.

We agree that we should be looking for ways to strengthen Medicare and ensure that it is there for future generations. Fortunately, we already have made a big step in that direction.

The historic health care reform bill we passed made huge strides towards extending the life of Medicare and lowering drug costs for seniors — and it’s already going into effect.

But the Republican plan isn’t about strengthening Medicare — it’s about ending Medicare as we know it. We must stand together and defeat it.

Tell the Republicans you won’t stand by while they end Medicare. Head to today and sign our petition now.

Thanks for your support,

Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senator
Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator
Patty Murray
U.S. Senator

Sign                     the petition

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Schumer Has Already Seen This Medicare Movie