(BISMARCK, ND) – Yesterday, Marlene from West Fargo went on KFGO’s News & Views to discuss Congressman Cramer’s intention to cut Social Security and Medicare to pay for his budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy. Marlene is a retired RN and a parish nurse. She also acts as caregiver to her husband who has several pre-existing conditions. See key quotes and listen to the full interview below:

On Cutting Social Security and Medicare:

Marlene: “I’ve been very concerned lately about what I’m hearing Congressman Cramer saying regarding Social Security and Medicare.”

“I really want these programs protected. We’ve paid into these for decades and we want to have them for our generation, but also for future generations.”

Joel: “For me this was the most telling thing, and Senator Mitch McConnell let this slip – the fact that they were talking about a budget deficit, that the tax bill didn’t do what they said it was going to do, which is lower the deficit. In fact it has grown the deficit. Marlene, he said that, once they go back in, one of the first things they’re going to do is work on… entitlements, which really are Social Security and Medicare. Does that make you nervous that they’re going to go after those two things?”

Marlene: “It makes me very nervous because our Congressman Cramer said he was encouraged to hear Mitch McConnell talk about that – and cutting Social Security and Medicare is going to affect at least one-seventh of North Dakota’s population.”

“I see workers who are doing physical labor… construction workers. If the age goes 70 or older, they aren’t able to continue their work to that age, they just aren’t physically capable. And that’s true of nurses, too. Nursing is a very physical occupation and that’s where I was, I am a nurse. For people to continue taking care of others, say in a hospital situation, when they’re 70 years old, is pretty devastating.” 

On Medicaid

Marlene: “I’m a parish nurse and I do visits in nursing homes, and many of the people that I visit are on Medicaid and it is not because they want that help, but it’s because they have reached that point in their life where they no longer can afford to do it themselves.”

LISTEN to her interview here.

Background:

  1. In an interview with the Jamestown Sun, Cramer advocated for raising the retirement age and making cuts to programs like Medicare.
  2. In a town hall sponsored by AARP, Cramer made clear his plans to make cuts to North Dakotans’ hard-earned retirement funds, saying, “President Trump – ironically, here’s one of the areas that he and I don’t agree on. He will not touch – he promised not to touch Social Security.”
  3. Later that same week, Cramer doubled down, saying, “he [President Trump] has pledged not to deal with Social Security and Medicare. I think that’s a mistake.”
  4. Cramer also said it was “encouraging” to hear Mitch McConnell’s intention to cut Social Security and Medicare.
  5. In an op-ed yesterday, Cramer said he doesn’t want to “cut benefits for people currently receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits or for anyone over the age of 55” – but he makes no mention of those North Dakotans who have paid into the program for decades but are 54 years old or younger.
  6. In last week’s debate, Cramer unequivocally stated that “everything [is] on the table” when it comes to making changes to Social Security.

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