Release: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
With GOP Cavalry Descending on Georgia, Karen Handel Must Own Devastating Cuts to Medicare
Atlanta, GA – After a humiliating show at the polls on April 18, career politician Karen Handel is calling on the GOP political cavalry to fabricate enthusiasm for the perpetual candidate ahead of the June runoff. Handel limped to the runoff with an embarrassing 19.78% of votes cast, despite being well known, close to 30% (54,397 votes) behind Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.
Handel’s distress signal has been answered by fellow career politician House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is notorious for his reckless and cold-hearted plan to end the Medicare guarantee for senior citizens. Ryan’s intervention in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race follows the massive defeat of his attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act.
“Career politician Karen Handel has made clear she will not be an independent voice for the district and supports Speaker Ryan’s ideological plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program and cut Medicaid. In her blind personal quest to hold office, it is troubling that Handel apparently has no issue ending the Medicare guarantee for Georgia’s seniors, or cutting services to nursing homes.” – Michael Smith, Communications Director
The GOP’s plan to replace essential health care programs with voucher programs would be devastating to Georgia families. 1,782,301Georgians (17% of the population) are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP programs. 1,253,841 children and 137,671 seniors and people with disabilities are covered by Medicaid and Medicare programs.
The consequences for Georgia’s seniors are staggering. Per the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “An overwhelming majority of Medicare beneficiaries who live in nursing homes rely on Medicaid for their nursing home coverage. Because the Ryan plan would require such deep cuts in federal Medicaid funding, it would inevitably result in less coverage for nursing home residents and shift more of the cost of nursing home care to elderly beneficiaries and their families. A sharp reduction in the quality of nursing home care would be virtually inevitable, due to the large reduction that would occur in the resources made available to pay for such care.”
-The strong early numbers for Democrats in the 2018 Congressional picture aren’t just a function of Trump’s unpopularity. Both Paul Ryan (30/53 approval) and Mitch McConnell (24/48) are very unpopular on the national scene as well. Overall Congress has just an 18% approval rating, with 65% of voters disapproving of it.
–One issue that particularly sunk Ryan’s numbers was health care, and we continue to find less and less resistance to just keeping the Affordable Care Act. We find 47% support for it on this poll, but more notable than that we find the level of opposition to it down to only 31%. Even among Republican voters there’s now barely a majority- 51%- that expresses opposition to the ACA. Just 30% of voters want to repeal it, compared to 62% who say the best path forward is to keep what works in it and fix what doesn’t.