Dec 122016

Democrats aren’t just ready for a fight to keep Paul Ryan and Donald Trump from privatizing Medicare and destroying Medicaid, they’re spoiling for it. There’s no cowering and licking their wounds after the election, but a recognition that the majority of the American public rejected Republicans and rejected Trump—Hillary Clinton is leading by 2.7 million votes at this point—and that they have a patriotic responsibility to fight. It starts with Medicare.

“I say to my Republican colleagues: Turn back, because we will fight you on this tooth and nail, we will win, you will lose,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the incoming Democratic leader said at a press conference.

He was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as liberal groups that were delivering over 1 million signatures on a petition to Republican leaders against Medicare cuts.

Democrats have been sensing political advantage amid talk of Republicans overhauling Medicare.

Schumer promised “some heck of a hearing” for Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Trump’s nominee to be Health and Human Services secretary.

Schumer and Sanders both pointed out that while Trump campaigned on a promise to not touch critical social insurance programs, he’s putting Price—an avowed Ryan disciple in gutting Medicare and Medicaid—in a powerful position. Trump “nominated one of the most avowed enemies of Medicare in the country to be secretary of HHS,” Schumer said, “and he’s going to get some heck of a hearing.” Sanders added a direct message to Trump: “He said ‘I am not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,'” […] “Mr. Trump, we are going to hold you accountable.”

While Republicans’ zeal for cutting Medicare seems to be waning, Schumer points out that “I haven’t heard any notable Republican voices strongly saying they’re going to fight it and join us in fighting it.” And they’re not going to let the American people forget that.

Original Publication: Schumer to Republicans: We’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect Medicare by Joan McCarter of the Daily Kos.

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