WASHINGTON – Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) faced stern questions from his elderly constituents at a town hall meeting Tuesday evening, when he was confronted over his vote to replace Medicare with a voucher program.
“I would like to know, did you vote to eliminate Medicare as it is today?” one senior asked at the Bismarck Public Library.
When Berg responded, “No,” some of the constituents protested. “You voted yes,” one said. “Yes you did,” added another.
Berg voted in favor of the budget proposal laid out by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which ends Medicare in 2022 and implements a “premium support” program that helps seniors buy private insurance.
“I want you to tell me how much it’s going to cost us, when we’re 65 years old, after you give us a voucher,” asked one angry elderly constituent.
Berg responded that if you’re “fifty-five or over” there would be “absolutely no change,” arguing that the program is going “bankrupt” in the long-run and must be restructured.
The constituent replied, “As long as you’re over 55. If you’re 53…the hell with those people?”
The confrontation mirrors other recent incidents where House Republicans who voted for the Ryan proposal — including Ryan himself — received an earful from angry constituents worried about their health care.
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