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Florida Democrats to GOP: Hands off Medicare

The so-called Ryan budget is fresh off the presses, giving Democrats in Florida fresh ammunition when it comes to seniors and Medicare.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and the chairwoman of the DNC, and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, joined Harvard Professor David Cutler Thursday in a conference call to talk about the proposals. It would make "drastic changes to Social Security and Medicare while giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires," all three said. 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal is unlikely to become law because it won't pass the Democratic-controlled Senate. But it will rekindle the fierce partisan bickering on Capitol Hill over budget deficits and debt. The 100-page budget represents a GOP campaign blueprint, drawing sharp fiscal contrasts between Republicans on one side and Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress on the other.

Wasserman Schultz and Deutch did just that Thursday, accusing Republicans of reneging on the federal government’s commitment to senior citizens and linking the plan to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

It is "one of the worst proposals for Floridians and the middle class we've ever seen," Deutch said, and added that Romney's support of it means they "may as well call it the Ryan-Romney budget plan."

The GOP budget plan calls repealing President Barack Obama's health care law, eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and shifting Medicaid and food stamps to block-grant programs for states. On Medicare, Ryan, R-Wisc., renewed his call to cap spending on future retirees and offer them a subsidy to buy private health insurance from federal insurance exchanges.

Here's what Republicans had to say in response: "Republicans are stepping up to the plate and showing true leadership by tackling structural budgetary problems that will haunt future generations if Congress takes no action," said RNC Spokesman Matt Connelly. "Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz knows well that the real concern of the middle class and seniors are the Medicare cuts and loss of prescription drug coverage that will result from the massive ObamaCare law she played a key role in passing."