Gingrey hosts town hall to discuss budget, Medicare
by Amanda Stegall
May 02, 2011 | 1514 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After much debate over the details of a federal budget, and as recovery efforts begin after Wednesday's tornado, Rep. Phil Gingrey held a town hall meeting for community members to ask questions regarding legislative issues and voice their opinions.

In his introduction of Gingrey, State Sen. Barry Loudermilk commented on the strength of the community after the storm. "I was talking with our local EMA director and he said 'it's amazing, we have not received one request for shelter ... every home we went by had a crew of people cutting trees ... it was neighbors helping neighbors.'"

While agreeing with Loudermilk on the current situation within the county, Gingrey also addressed the budget debate on Capitol Hill. Gingrey outlined the Republican budget proposal known as the Path to Prosperity. Issues concerning local citizens, such as Medicare, are, according to Gingrey, more likely to be saved for future generations with minor changes to the program.

"We need the safety net of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," Gingrey said. "We just don't want the federal government to take over everything. We want them to be there to do the things that we can't take care of ourselves ... otherwise leave us alone."

Gingrey presented a Powerpoint presentation that over-viewed a contrast between the proposed Path of Prosperity and the budget President Obama submitted to Congress for approval or adjustment. The federal government budget extends through Fiscal Year 2012, which begins Oct. 1 and extends through Sept. 30, 2012.

In this budget, discretionary spending, unnecessary spending through various government agencies, is cut. Current seniors, and anyone 55 and older, will see no changes in Medicare. "They will remain on that until their deaths ... and I hope many of them live to be methusela age," said Gingrey.

Changes will occur to younger people, 54-years-old and younger. Younger generations will be allowed to choose between different variations of the program.

"If we do nothing, Medicare will be bankrupt by 2020," said the congressman.

The Republican budget will bring spending of GDP down over a period of five to six years and ultimately eliminate the federal debt.

Town hall meetings will continue to be held for community members to express their opinions and ask questions in regards to legislative issues, however no firm dates have been decided.