Foster: Romney-Ryan budget would hurt seniors
By: Matt Brennan Beacon News
AURORA — Senior citizens could potentially end up paying an additional $6,400 cost per person under a Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan budget, according to 11th Congressional District Democratic candidate Bill Foster.
Foster, of Naperville, hammered at that point at a round table event at Nikarry’s restaurant in Aurora Wednesday, and also spoke of the added risk associated with privatizing Social Security and Medicare.
“When the Ryan budget comes into fruition, that could become a crushing new burden,” he said.
Foster, who formerly was the congressman in the Fox Valley’s 14th District, and his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale, were scheduled to debate on Medicare and senior issues Tuesday. But Biggert canceled that appearance, citing her concerns with the AARP being quoted and its logo used in a series of attack ads against her. The AARP was one of the cosponsors of the Tuesday debate.
Foster said he decided to continue with his plans to talk about Medicare with local seniors and scheduled the Nikarry’s event for Wednesday. There were seven seniors at the table, each talking about the role that Social Security and Medicare have played in their lives, and concerns over the programs in the future.
Linda King of Oswego said she is concerned about people who have lost their jobs, or otherwise fallen victim to a bad economy, in the years before retirement. The nation is making strides to be able to help people in that predicament, but she wants to make sure that the Affordable Health Care Act is preserved, she said.
“I don’t think the information is out there, on how they can be helped with the Affordable Health Care Act,” she said.
Mary Mueller of Oswego said that after long careers, she and her husband were fortunate enough to save for their future. She said she is concerned for others who may not have been as fortunate.
“It really scares me, if Romney gets in, what will happen to the poor,” she said.
Foster received an endorsement from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare at the event. The organization works to preserve seniors’ benefits.
Max Richtman, president of the organization, said that Foster has worked in the advocacy of seniors in the past.
The organization has 6,593 members in the new 11th District, which includes Aurora, Naperville, Plainfield and Joliet, Richtman said. In the past, it has worked with Republicans such as Biggert and former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, he said.
Richtman said it is crucial for the organization to work to keep enough votes in Congress to prevent the cost of living adjustment from being cut, and to keep Republicans from repealing the Affordable Health Care Act.
“Anyone who says the Romney-Ryan budget wouldn’t do anything to current seniors, that’s a lie,” Richtman said.
Biggert Wednesday accused Foster of “scaring seniors about important issues such as Medicare and Social Security.”
“Medicare will be broke in just twelve years, and my opponent seems to have no idea how to ensure that it remains solvent... I hope my opponent will stop the fear-mongering and instead spell out his plans,” Biggert said in a release.