Politics & Government

Keith Fitzgerald blasts Vern Buchanan for supporting Paul Ryan's Medicare plan

MANATEE — The choice of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential nominee and the embrace of his budget plan would “break the moral contract” to take care of seniors and the disabled with Medicare, if the GOP wins during the November elections, Democratic congressional candidate Keith Fitzgerald said Friday.

“The choice is clear,” said Keith Fitzgerald during a conference call.

The former Sarasota state representative is challenging incumbent Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, in Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

Buchanan voted for Ryan’s budget plan and under its tenets, “Medicare as we know it would come to an end,” in favor of a voucher program, Fitzgerald said.

Budget cuts to Medicare in the Ryan plan would also bring back the “doughnut hole,” which adds expenses for seniors’ prescription drugs, and would end traditional benefits of Medicare, Fitzgerald said.

Buchanan campaign spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts replied to Fitzgerald’s assertions, saying his “support for raiding Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare is wrong and harmful to our seniors.”

“His plan ends Medicare as we know it by putting 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of limiting care for seniors,” she said. “Fitzgerald needs to stop following Nancy Pelosi’s failed agenda and start thinking about the seniors in our district.”