Betty Ryan Douglas, 78, is the newest face of the Medicare wars..

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Meet Paul Ryan’s mom.

By Juanita Summers

Betty Ryan Douglas, 78, is the newest face of the Medicare wars that have abruptly taken center stage in the 2012 contest, joining her son here Saturday in the town square of a sprawling retirement community as Ryan assured seniors that he and Mitt Romney won’t take away their Medicare and Social Security.

“Like a lot of Americans, when I think about Medicare, it’s not just a program,” Ryan told the mostly-elderly crowd at The Villages, a central Florida retirement community that is billed as the world’s largest. “It’s what my mom relies on. It’s what my grandma had.”

Douglas — who spends her winters in nearby Lauderdale-By-The-Sea — plays tennis and works out every day, Ryan said, and she appeared spry as the two walked hand-and-hand toward the stage.

The congressman pointed to his mother as an example of how the debate over Medicare is both political and personal in a state with the highest percentage of elderly voters in the country. To voters here today, Betty was a “Medicare senior in Florida,” one of the nation’s many “snowbirds” that flees colder climes during the winter months for the warmth of places like Florida.

“Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma, when we needed it then, and Medicare is there for my mom while she needs that now, and we need to keep that guaranteed,” the 42-year-old House Budget Committee chairman said, describing the experience of being one of the primary caregivers for his grandmother, who suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s.

As the vice presidential nominee debuted in Florida, Ryan and his mom — who wore a yellow jacket and white pants — were greeted by several thousand enthusiastic retirees, some who were camped out here for hours to see the mother-son team. Law enforcement officials estimated 3,000 people crowded into the town square, and more spilled onto streets lined with golf carts, the transportation method of choice for most of the community’s residents.

The Wisconsin lawmaker revved up the crowd and was met with applause, but the cheers for his message on energy and small businesses were more enthusiastic than for his remarks on health care.

The Villages is a familiar stop for presidential candidates, and Republicans in particular. The developer of the community and his family have personally donated more than $1.5 million to Republican candidates and super PACs this election cycle.

Florida is a must-win state for the GOP presidential ticket and the race has grown more heated here since Ryan was named as the vice presidential contender last weekend. Debate over his controversial budget plan — which would turn Medicare into a voucher program for seniors after the year 2023 — has since become pivotal, and Republicans are working overtime to defend their proposals.

Romney and Ryan have attacked President Barack Obama for cuts to the Medicare trust fund to pay for his health care reform, and Ryan hewed to that line today.

Ryan accused the president of “raiding” Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act, and going back on a promise that so many seniors are counting on. The Obama campaign argues that Ryan and Romney aren’t telling the whole story when it comes to their Medicare reform plans, omitting crucial details that would be unpopular with seniors.

“What’s worse — is the president’s campaign calls this an achievement,” Ryan said. “Do you think raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare is an achievement? Do you think that empowering a board of bureaucrats to cut Medicare is anachievement? Neither do I.”

Ryan and Romney, Ryan said , will make sure that Medicare is not “used as a piggybank for Obamacare,” and it should remain “the promise that it made to our current seniors, period, end of story.”

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19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. avahome
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 13:41:08

    Hide behind your Mother’s skirt…………….you the man!


  2. Kate (@AKRNHSNC)
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 13:43:38

    Fourteen years ago, the people in Janesville that knew the Ryan family never would have believed that Paul Ryan would turn into the type of Congressman that would ignore his constituents, require them to spend money for tickets to a luncheon in order to ask him questions or deceive them about his party’s plans for Medicare or blatantly lie about his opposing party’s candidate for President’s plan for Medicare, Welfare & many other important positions.

    Yet, this is exactly what Paul Ryan has done. I’m sure his mother, Betty Ryan-Douglas is a lovely woman but would she condone his behavior to his constituents, his mocking them in regards to “I hope this gentleman remembered to take his blood pressure medication this morning” or in speaking about two women who wanted an answer to a question, “I know these women aren’t from Iowa or Wisconsin because women from those states aren’t rude.” However, the women were from Iowa and they never did get their questions answered because despite the fair being billed as an event for Paul Ryan, he didn’t want to be pestered, he was there to see the show. After all, he’d been running for V.P., for 3 days already and was tired. (Or maybe he didn’t have the answers that people wanted to hear) When it comes to Ryan and Romney, they appear to be better off not answering questions because when they attempt to do so, they tend to put their feet in their mouth.

    Ryan’s ego has grown overwhelmingly over the past few years with his recognition by the MSM. Before he became a well-known media figure, he was far more willing to work with the tax-paying citizens of Wisconsin. Since he doesn’t believe that the voters deserve the help they receive from the government, I’m waiting to hear what day he’ll be saying “thanks, but no thanks, I’ll pay our way” when it comes to Medical benefits for him & his family.


  3. WakeUpAmerica
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 13:48:16

    Medical care in this country is mostly a privilege for the privileged. It is America’s shame.


    • Syrin
      Aug 19, 2012 @ 14:27:52

      Well my parents are not privileged, Medicare has been a help, and a hinderence. There are several things that bother me about ObamaCare. The the Medicare system was already a behemoth! Doing very little for the people but lining the government beaucrats pockets. With the layer upon layer upon layer of government regulations on the doctor’s side, the intrusion into our lives seems to be much deeper with ObamaCare.. It doesn’t appear to be the help that was really needed. IMHO


      • Sassy
        Aug 20, 2012 @ 17:54:20

        I am 73 years old. I felt blessed to have insurance until I was 65, but totally grateful to be able to have medicare that l no longer had to worry about if I was unemployed, or disabled and be without medical insurance. Because I want the same for my children who are now in their 50’s, I will vote for Obama.

        I know that with Medicare, I have the very same benefits as every other senior. I don’t want a voucher and have to choose between one insurance company or another, nor do I want to go without insurance because premiums go up and the vouchers do not. The choices are very very confusing (even for Medicare supplemental insurance) and the insurance executives keep getting richer and richer.

        The same is true with Social Security — Thank God we were forced to put money aside every payday deducted for Social Security (the same money that would have gone to shoes for the kids, the electricity or heating bills, medical or dental bills, or the myriad of things people need today when raising a family). Yes, changes need to be made — but the wealthy should not pay little or no taxes while changes are made for the very poor.

        Maybe Social Security and Medicare aren’t important to rich people — they can always choose to get the very best care, or live in Florida in a seaside home. The rest of us just want the elderly to have a safety net beneath us.

        My grandmother had 12 children, her husband died when he was 55, no pension, no savings. They lived in Mining-owned housing and once the miner was gone, the home was gone as well and there were still 2 of her children at home. She worked as a housekeeper and caretaker for others for the next 15 years. For a while they tried each family sending in a portion of her expenses and that didn’t work because of one family emergency or another. She lived in virtual poverty. Then my grandmother had nothing — she moved every month to live with each of her children’s families in turn. Yes our families took care of Grandma, and they were happy to do it, but it was not easy on either families with teen children, nor was it easy for Grandma — no permanent home, living sometimes with young children after raising 12 her own, not even having a room of her own.

        Without birth control, how many of us would have had 12 or more children? Without Social Security and Medicare, who would take care of us in our declining years?

        Shame on the House of Representatives and the Senate who are supposed to find a reasonable way to fix this — one that does NOT make only the rich richer or only the poor poorer. They are supposed to work together for all their constituents, not sit back and say NO to everything in a vile attempt to get rid of a president they don’t want (and many of the rest of us do) — they were elected to work for all of us.

      • WakeUpAmerica
        Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:30:02

        ACA has been a tremendous help for us. My youngest daughter was able to have insurance longer because of my policy. We have no co-pay on preventative care and vaccinations. There is no cap on benefits, which I was quickly approaching because of the cancer I had awhile ago. No pre-existing conditions is a huge thing for me because of the cancer and for my daughter because of her kidney problems.

        Please tell me what the hindrances of Medicare are as I have heard only praise for it from seniors.

      • Sammy
        Aug 22, 2012 @ 17:55:23

        Syrin: I would bet dollars to donuts tht you have not read a single word, line, paragraph or page if the health care act. I have Medicare and also have serveral serious chronic health issues and have NEVER experienced any problems. You have no evidence that Medicare “does very little for the people but lining the government beaucrats pockets”. This is untrue and you know it.

  4. Sally
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 17:03:17

    Well, actually, he didn’t lie to the seniors. It is the rest of us who will be screwed by his plans as we age. And our children will be far too busy raising their multitudes of kids to take care of us when contraception is banned by these jerks.


  5. 99ts
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 21:14:49

    Palin hides behind her children – Ryan hides behind his mother


  6. Gindy53
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 02:46:58

    No way does his mother rely on this program. She, like her son, is independently wealthy unlike 99% of the other seniors in that crowd. This is the same crap that RandR spew all the time. Fine for me but none for thee.
    That he can fool these seniors is just nuts but you have to know that most of them get their “news” from Faux Entertainment as they live in a community that has that channel on all the big screens in the common areas. Just look where the owners put their disposable cash….


    • katzkids
      Aug 19, 2012 @ 04:10:57

      The Villages are not for the poor. It’s very much a rich people only community & a bastion of wealthy RW Republicans. Ryan chose his audience very well. He wouldn’t dare try the same speech where poor people live, you know, the ones who actually depend on SS & Medicare to live.


  7. Syrin
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 14:36:34

    Well as always I appreciate everyone’s views. I do believe Medicare is an issue that everyone should be able to debate. My goodness, I’m 50, I or my husband never have thought that Medicare or Obamacare, whatever you want to call it is going to help us when we’re 65! Whether these candidates are aligned politically with you or not, Ryan has an advantage when he pointed to his mother as an example of how the debate over Medicare is both political and personal. Because it is! It doesnt appear to me that Paul Ryan or his mother are independently wealthy. I have no reason to doubt that his grandmother relied on Medicare, as stated in the article.


    • WakeUpAmerica
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:34:01

      From everything I have read, The Villages is definitely not for middle class or poor people.


    • Sammy
      Aug 22, 2012 @ 18:03:10

      Paul Ryan has a net worth of about $4.5 million and earned at least $344,000 last year. In Mitt land, $4.5 mil is chump change. Nice try, but epic FAIL.


  8. jk
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 21:33:07

    Ryan made money the old fashioned way. He married into it. His wife is from a wealthy family. Fox News says he’s worth $4.5 million. It’s not Romney-rich, but he sure aint hurting for cash.


  9. Rosie
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 16:57:28

    Does you gramma have a TOWN HOUSE near the beach? In the summer? I bet her bank account isn’t once empty, with a “RICH” son! I don’t even want to see his mother unless she make less then $900.00 a month! Paul try something else! I am sure isn’t VOTING FOR YOU!


  10. Xenon
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 08:57:30

    What’s her stance on “legitimate rape?”



  11. WakeUpAmerica
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:35:35

    Besides, anyone who doesn’t support the Lily Ledbetter Act is a complete misogynist jackass in my book. Who does he think he is?


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