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Dianne Feinstein and Barack Obama agree with Cuts in Medicare

Recently I wrote to my Senators.  I complained about the fact that they are even considering cutting programs such as heat for the poorest people in our country and cutting education and programs for women and children, while they are giving tax cuts to the rich and even supplementing corporations that make billions of dollars in a quarter.  Today I got a letter back from Dianne Feinstein that really scared me.  The letter reads as follows:

Dear Ms. McCown:

Thank you for contacting me to express your views about ways to reduce the federal deficit.  I appreciate the time you took to write and apologize for the delay in my response.

Like you, I am concerned that a number of deficit reduction strategies being put forward aim to balance the budget disproportionately at the expense of lower and middle-income Americans.  Both the House Republican proposal to fund the rest of Fiscal Year 2011 (H.R. 1) and Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) House-passed FY 2012 budget gain a significant portion of their projected savings through severe reductions in funding for services that are vital to many Californians.

Representative Paul Ryan’s budget accomplishes the majority of its projected $6 trillion savings by transforming Medicare into a voucher program, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will increase the out of pocket cost to seniors from 25 percent of healthcare costs under traditional Medicare to 68 percent under Representative Ryan’s proposal.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has calculated that this translates to an average increase in annual out of pocket costs of $6,000 per beneficiary.

Like you, I believe these approaches are ill-targeted and short-sighted.  While the cost of entitlement programs, which account for 55 percent of current federal expenditures, must be reduced in order to achieve significant deficit reduction, I also believe defense spending cuts and increased revenues must contribute to the solution. Both of these, however, are exempted in Representative Ryan’s fiscal blueprint.  In April 2011, President Obama proposed an alternative budget strategy which, while cutting $4 trillion over 12 years, would achieve such savings through a calibrated combination of spending cuts, tax reform – including an expiration of the Bush tax cuts for high income earners – and reductions in the costs of entitlement programs like Medicare, while simultaneously preserving the social contract with generations of Americans.

Please know that I will keep in mind your strong opposition to cuts in important social services while I work with my Senate colleagues to craft a responsible solution to our budgetary issues.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.  Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website, Feinstein.senate.gov.  You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list. Click here to sign up. Feel free to checkout my YouTube Page.

I put the parts that caught my attention in red.  It scared me to read that.  It was like a flashing neon sign that says – Changes are coming to Medicare and it isn’t going to be good for the people.  Please someone tell me I read this wrong.

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