Five Ways The Ryan Budget Hurts New Mexico
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 21 August 2012 - 10:09am
Five Ways The Ryan Budget Hurts New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE (Aug. 21, 2012) – Republican Senate candidate Heather Wilson says she “admires” Paul Ryan for his willingness to “put forth bold ideas” that would end Medicare as we know it, impose deep cuts to Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, gut funding for early education and college assistance, increase taxes on the middle class, and deal a severe blow to women and Hispanic families.
Here are five ways the Ryan budget hurts New Mexico:
1. The Ryan budget ends Medicare as we know it. The Ryan budget would scrap the guaranteed benefits provided by Medicare, and force nearly 300,000 New Mexico seniors into a voucher program when they retire. As a result, health care costs for seniors would increase by as much as $5,900 each year. The Ryan budget would also force many seniors to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs, burdening them with costs of almost $12,000.
2. The Ryan budget would impose deep cuts to Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. Under the Ryan budget, funding for Sandia National Laboratories would be reduced by 10 percent, while funding for Los Alamos National Laboratory would be reduced by 17 percent. These cuts would impede the essential missions carried out at the laboratories and cut New Mexico jobs.
3. The Ryan budget would gut funding for early education and college assistance. In New Mexico alone, $16 million would be cut from Head Start programs and more than $21 million would be cut from Pell Grants. As a result, more than 2,000 children would loose access to preschool and other early education programs and more than 3,000 college students would loose their assistance entirely in New Mexico.
4. The Ryan budget would cut taxes for the rich while raising taxes on New Mexico’s middle class. Hard-working New Mexican families with incomes below $200,000 would see their taxes increase by nearly $2,700 each year. At the same time, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would be made permanent and millionaires would get a windfall tax cut of $265,000.
5. The Ryan budget would deal a severe blow to women and Hispanic families. The Ryan budget’s extreme reforms to Medicare would increase out-of-pocket health care costs for nearly 190,000 Hispanic New Mexicans by thousands of dollars each year. They would also disproportionately affect women, who account for the majority of Medicare recipients. Increasing the cost of services like mammograms and cancer screenings would put preventative health care further out of reach for millions of women across the country.
Heather Wilson says she admires Ryan’s willingness to put forth bold ideas. "Paul Ryan and I served together and I've always found that he's a decent, honest and smart man," Wilson said. "And I admire his willingness to put forth bold ideas on big issues, even if I don't always agree with him." [KOB Eyewitness News, 8/11/12]
Wilson’s implicit support for the Ryan Budget. In May 2011, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that, when asked about the Ryan Budget, Wilson responded, “I give [Ryan] a lot of credit for trying to have a serious debate about saving Medicare. Democrats have not offered one single idea to save Medicare.” [Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/30/11]
The Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it, force 300,000 New Mexico seniors into a voucher program. The Ryan Budget would end traditional Medicare and its guaranteed benefits and instead give seniors vouchers to purchase private insurance or Medicare. The value of the vouchers would not keep up with the rising cost of health care. Once again, insurance companies would reap big profits as seniors would be forced to pay as much as $5,900 more for the benefits they have now. [CBO, 3/20/12; CBPP, 3/20/12]
Ryan Budget would reinstate the prescription drug “Donut Hole.” The Ryan Budget would reinstate the prescription drug donut hole and cost the average senior who falls into the donut hole approximately $11,794 between 2012 and 2020. [HHS, 3/19/12; State level data compiled byHHS, 3/20/12]
Ryan Budget would mean 10 percent budget cut for Sandia National Labs, 17 percent cut for Los Alamos National Labs. In January 2011, the Albuquerque Journal reported that “A budget resolution approved by the U.S. House this week would have devastating consequences for New Mexico's national laboratories…The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a resolution that instructs House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to prepare budget blueprint for 2011 that rolls back spending…to 2008 spending levels. That would mean a roughly 10 percent reduction for Sandia National Laboratories and an approximately 17 percent budget cut at Los Alamos National Laboratory.” [Albuquerque Journal, 1/27/11]
Funding for Pell Grants in New Mexico would be cut by more than $21 million. The Ryan Budget would cut $21.5M in New Mexico funding for Pell Grants over the next two years resulting in 3,041 students losing assistance. The average recipient would see a cut of $164. [Democratic Policy and Communications Center]
The Ryan budget’s cuts to early childhood education. According to the National Education Association, the Ryan Budget would cut $15.8M in New Mexico funding over the next two years for the Head Start program resulting in an estimated 2,064 children losing assistance while an estimated 940 jobs would be lost. [NEA, accessed on 8/12/12]
Ryan Plan Would Cut Taxes For The Wealthiest, Like Mitt Romney, While Increasing Taxes for “Most Americans Making Less Than $200,000.” ABC found that “While Mitt Romney would reportedly pay less than one percent of his income in taxes under Paul Ryan's previous tax plan, most Americans making less than $200,000 would see a tax hike under the budget of Ryan proposed before his selection to be Romney's running mate, according to a report by Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) [...] Households with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 would see their taxes increase by $2,681, the Joint Economic Committee said.” [ABC, 8/14/12]
An Estimated 180,742 Hispanics Would Potentially Be Affected By Ryan Budget Changes To Medicare. The Ryan budget would force all seniors onto the voucher program starting in 2023. This would impact 180,742 Hispanics in New Mexico between the ages of 40-54, who would be forced to get a voucher to purchase their health insurance. [CBO, 3/20/12; CBPP, 3/20/12; CAP, 3/2012; University of New Mexico Bureau of Business & Economic Research, 6/13/12]
Women account for the majority of Medicare recipients. Women constitute more than half of the individuals with Medicare. The program is therefore critically important to preserving the health and well-being of our mothers and grandmothers. Because women, on average, are poorer, live longer and have more health care needs than men, Medicare (sometimes combined with Medicaid) potentially plays a greater role for them in preventing illness and destitution. [NWLC, 5/23/11]
The Ryan Budget will require that seniors pay deductibles, co-insurance, and copayments for many preventive services currently covered by Medicare; including cancer screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies as well as annual wellness visits. As a result, fewer seniors will access these preventive services, thereby dramatically increasing Medicare spending in the long-term. [CMS, 2/15/12]