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The latest Trump child-detention policy sparks harsh criticism. Also on the Thursday rundown: New York sues the EPA over Hudson River PCBs.

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Will Trump Keep his Promise to Protect Medicare?

House Speaker Paul Ryan may be escalating his plan to privatize Medicare. (paulryanhouse.gov)
House Speaker Paul Ryan may be escalating his plan to privatize Medicare. (paulryanhouse.gov)
January 12, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – There's been talk by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for several years about phasing out Medicare and replacing it with private insurance, but now those words may turn into action.

Ryan has said he'll try to push it through as efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act move forward.

Democrats say dismantling the 50-year-old system would mean less comprehensive coverage for vulnerable Americans.

Will Phillips, director of AARP Minnesota, says regardless of their political beliefs, people want health care protected.

"Something that really takes Medicare and moves it from a program that Americans have been able to count on for all these years is something that AARP is very concerned about, and is something that we will oppose in terms of any attempt to cut or scale back or diminish any of the benefits that Medicare provides," he states.

Ryan has said the program needs to be fixed so there's a guarantee that it's intact for future seniors as well as those who currently are receiving benefits.

Phillips stresses a deal was made with Americans about Medicare and it needs to be honored.

Phillips says AARP opposes plans to end guaranteed coverage and has sent a letter to every member of Congress asking that they act to protect Medicare.

He encourages all Americans to keep informed and make their voices heard on the issue.

"Whether it's sending an email, making a phone call, showing up at a town hall meeting when Congress is in recess, or talking to friends and family or all of the above," he stresses.

AARP has a link that allows people to join a letter writing campaign to President-elect Donald Trump asking him to keep his campaign promise to protect Medicare, and to oppose any cuts to the program.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MN