"14-Year-Old Challenges Rep. Frank Guinta On Privatized Medicare: ‘What Am I Going To Do?’"
As ThinkProgress has reported, Republicans across the country have faced backlash at town halls for voting for the GOP budget plan that effectively ends Medicare. While many of the challenges have come from concerned older Americans, freshman Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) faced a unique opponent at a town hall in Manchester yesterday: a 14-year-old boy. The Boston Globe reports:
A 73-year old man stood up and criticized the plan to cut Medicare, which has become one of the most controversial aspects of the budget blueprint that was drafted by Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, and approved earlier this month by the House.
“Why congressman Guinta?” he said. “Why in the world did you ever vote for the Paul Ryan Medicare plan?”
Guinta began to answer, by saying many of the changes likely wouldn’t be phased in in time to affect him.
“What about me?” shouted Joe Platte, an eighth grader from Stratham, NH. “I’m 14! What am I going to do?”
Watch ABC News’ video of the event:
Republicans, including the budget’s mastermind, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), have touted (incorrectly) that the transition of Medicare into a voucher program will not affect anyone 55 years of age or older. But as eighth grader Platte notes, the effects will be felt far and wide by those who are not yet 55. That includes many Americans older than Platte who have paid into the Medicare system for years, only to find out that — if the Republican plan passes — the benefits they thought they would receive from the broadly popular program will not be there when they reach enrollment age.
Guinta later told attendees that, while this was “a tough issue,” Congress was committed to following through:
“This is a tough issue, and I sympathize with anyone who is reliant on a program like this, or who expects to be on a program like this,” Guinta said. “But my goal, my objective, is to make sure that if you’re in or near retirement, nothing changes. Because the country made a promise to you.”
Apparently, Platte’s future, and that of millions of other Americans, contains no such promise.