VIRGINIA ORGANIZING CRITICIZES REP. GRIFFITH FOR HIS VOTES THAT WILL WEAKEN MEDICAID AND MEDICARE
For Immediate Release: August 3, 2012
Abingdon, VA: Virginia Organizing held a demonstration at Congressman Morgan Griffith's Abingdon office today to criticize his failure to support Medicaid and Medicare programs through his recent votes in support of the Ryan budget and tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. The Ryan budget dismantles Medicaid and ends Medicare as we know it; continuing tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans means that programs like Medicaid and Medicare, among others, will face severe cuts.
Abingdon resident and Virginia Organizing leader Catherine Rumchlag is protesting today because of her disappointment with Rep. Griffith's votes. "I think Medicare and Medicaid are very important to the people who need them and cuts to taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent just don't make sense! Our government should be concerned with the common good for all people and Medicaid and Medicare are important ways to do this," said Rumchlag.
Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law in 1965 to ensure working people, seniors and people with disabilities could receive the health care they need. Other populations, such as foster children, also benefit from Medicaid. Virginia Organizing supports strengthening Medicare and Medicaid and asking the wealthiest 2 percent to pay their fair share instead of further burdening the middle-class.
Virginia Organizing leader Cinny Poppin said, “As someone who relies on Medicare, I don’t appreciate Congressman Griffith’s support of the Ryan budget or any other plan that endangers Medicaid and Medicare. These programs are important because people rely on them; I’d be in big trouble if I didn’t have Medicare.”
Medicaid and Medicare have a proven record of success in protecting families from devastating medical bills and securing medical treatment needed for survival. In addition, Medicare controls costs better than private insurance companies. From 1999 to 2009, Medicare's costs per person rose only 4.7 percent, while private insurance costs per person rose 6.9 percent — nearly 50 percent more.
According to a report released by Strengthen Social Security, a coalition of groups dedicated to a stronger Social Security system, Medicare insured 1,094,503 Virginians, or 1 out of 7, in 2009. More than 8 out of 10 (83.4 percent) of those individuals were seniors and 16.8 percent were people with disabilities.
The report also shows Medicaid insured 945,527 Virginians, or 1 out of 8, in 2009. Of those insured by Medicaid, 28.3 percent were children, 11.2 percent were seniors, and 17.7 percent were people with disabilities.
The full report can be found at http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/sites/default/files/Virginia2012final.pdf.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.