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Ryan Budget Plan: “Devastating” for Granite Staters of All Ages

Photo: Rep Paul Ryan calls the 5 trillion dollars in cuts in the GOP budget a "path to prosperity" but NH advocates say they could be devastating to Granite Staters of all ages.
Photo: Rep Paul Ryan calls the 5 trillion dollars in cuts in the GOP budget a "path to prosperity" but NH advocates say they could be devastating to Granite Staters of all ages.
April 14, 2014

CONCORD, N.Y. – Most simply call it the Ryan budget – the House spending plan that calls for $5 trillion in cuts over 10 years.

Local advocates say it could be devastating for Granite Staters of all ages.

Stephen Gorin, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers in New Hampshire, says a primary concern is that the Ryan budget would raise the eligibility age for Medicare and reduce benefits by switching to what amounts to a voucher system.

"Well the problem is, if the value of the voucher is less than the cost of their plan, then the difference would have to be made up by beneficiaries,” Gorin points out. “And we know many older adults probably would not be able to afford that."

The Ryan budget passed the House last week on a vote of 219 to 205.

Supporters say the cuts will carve a path to prosperity, while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Hill the cuts "are deadly serious...not good for children and other living things."

Gorin says cuts to Medicaid in the House version of the budget would not only impact older folks, but also their children and grandchildren.

"And that's where the children and grandchildren of older adults should think about,” he stresses. “What will happen if their loved ones are no longer able to afford to be in nursing homes - or they're not able to afford to go to nursing homes."

Gorin says many Granite Staters are already having a difficult time getting by on Social Security, and the Ryan budget sets the stage for future cuts to Social Security.

"He would, I think, like to see huge cuts in Social Security,” Gorin says. “And the budget sets up a mechanism, so that it would be done in a fast track way – so that there would be very little debate."

Political observers say the Ryan budget has no chance of passing the Senate, but Gorin notes that control of the Senate is up for grabs in November.

He says if Senate control shifts to the GOP, Republicans could then enact the House budget, which he says includes draconian cuts.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH