B’nai B’rith International is disappointed to see that the 2015 budget proposal announced by Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would once again slash spending on domestic discretionary programs—well below the currently suspended sequestration amounts. The plan also proposes another voucher privatization program for Medicare and cuts to Medicaid. Ryan’s budget projects $5 trillion in federal spending cuts, dealing real damage to Medicare and other programs for elderly and vulnerable low-income populations who will end up bearing the brunt of the cuts.
Overall, Ryan’s budget seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). By doing so, the budget would shift additional costs to older adults by eliminating free preventive services and drug savings created by the law for Medicare beneficiaries. This would leave many older adults with thousands of dollars in costs to absorb without the resources to pay for them.
Ryan's proposal would also create "fast track" procedures for reviewing changes to Social Security. It has long been B'nai B'rith's position that any changes to Social Security must be thoughtfully designed and carefully constructed with extreme transparency, none of which these fast track provisions offer. Further, as always we call on those who hope to "strengthen" Social Security, it must be understood that this requires maintaining commitments, expanding benefits and recognizing the increased role the program now plays in the lives of retirees who lack access to savings, pensions and other vehicles. Social Security is this country's most stable and reliable program to maintain retirement security and guard all of our working families against the unexpected.
While no one expects either this budget, the President's or the bulk of their proposals to become law, B’nai B’rith International continues to engage with members of the House, Senate and administration over the important issues raised by these proposals as we work toward good public policy.