Walz opposes cuts to senior spending

Published 10:13 am Thursday, April 28, 2011

In response to Republican all-cuts proposals, 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) has been on the road preaching compromise.

According to Walz, a House bill by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would double the health care spending of a typical 65-year-old, limit the future of transportation, cut health care funding for children and put a burden on the agriculture industry.

Although the bill passed the House floor, Walz believes it won’t pass the Senate, and it’s more of a push for Democrats to come up with major cuts of their own.

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“I’m glad that it’s a conversation starter,” Walz said of the House Republican bill. However, he quickly dismissed its validity.

“I think it’s absolutely wrong,” he said.

Now, Walz is recommending solutions, including some that mirror the bi-partisan budget proposal of the chairmen of Obama’s deficit commission, former Republican senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

Walz said cuts are needed across the board, but they must be fair for everybody. One group, he said, may be negatively affected more than any other: Seniors.

According to Walz, seniors would lose their typical Medicare coverage in exchange for vouchers under Ryan’s bill.

Walz’s communication director Sara Severs said the Medicare program could be run on a set amount of money for each senior.

However, Walz has been on the move and visited a group of seniors from Worthington to explain his and others’ approaches. He believes there is a slow-moving solution through compromise.

Senior Living

See Friday’s Senior Living for more on potential budget cuts and a new fitness program coming to the Senior Center.