Politics

Incoming DNC chair Wasserman Schultz: Paul Ryan budget proposal a ‘death trap for seniors’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

It’s a sound bite that hasn’t gotten much play in media circles, except on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” but incoming Democratic National Committee chairman Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had some disparaging words for Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget proposal.

Following the roll-out of Ryan’s FY2012 budget resolution, “The Path to Prosperity,” Wasserman Schultz called it a “death trap for seniors.”

“Seniors would pay more and more each year for their health insurance,” Wasserman Schultz said. “No longer would Medicare be a guarantee of health insurance coverage. Instead Medicare would become little more than a discount card. This plan would literally be a death trap for seniors.”

Back in 2009, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin used similar language to describe Obamacare, suggesting the legislation included “death panels,” and was roundly criticized for making those remarks.

On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart took Wasserman Schultz to task and called for the same condemnation for her remarks that Palin had received.

“And until as Gillian [Tett] said we get to the point where we have this huge crisis that forces people to actually make the tough decision, nothing is going to happen,” Capehart said. “I mean, we were talking about death panels and the president’s — I’m sorry, the Democratic health-care plan last year. We’re ridiculing that when Sarah Palin did that. And now we got death traps for seniors? I mean, Democrats criticized Republicans for doing that to the health-care plan and I think they should be criticized doing this.”

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The next move Capehart suggested was for Democratic leaders to come out with their own budget proposal.

“At some point, Democrats and Republicans need to — I should say, Paul Ryan has already come to the table with his plan,” he said. “I would love it if Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats came to the table and say, ‘Alright, you’ve got yours – now here’s ours.’”