Erika Johnsen

In a guileless and down-to-earth op-ed published in the Miami Herald yesterday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio managed to poignantly articulate the struggles surrounding our pending Medicare and deficit problems. In a debate in which some opponents of Medicare reform have been unabashedly dramatic and deceitful, Senator Rubio's words were a breath of fresh air.

America needs Medicare. We need it to continue without any benefit reductions for those like my mother currently in the system. And we need it to survive for my generation and my children’s generation.

But Medicare is going bankrupt. Anyone who says it is not is simply lying. And anyone who is in favor of doing nothing to deal with this fact is in favor of bankrupting it. Medicare will go broke in as little as nine years. No one likes this news, but it is the undeniable truth. And the sooner we begin to deal with it, the better off we are all going to be.

My goals are simple. First, I will not support any plan that changes Medicare for people like my mother who are currently on the plan. We cannot ask seniors to go out and get a job to pay for their healthcare.

Second, any solution must solve the problem. We need to save Medicare, not simply delay its bankruptcy.

And third, any solution cannot hurt economic growth. At a time of high unemployment, Americans cannot afford to pay more taxes.

I will support any serious plan that accomplishes these three things. It does not matter to me if it comes from a Democrat or a Republican. Saving Medicare is more important than partisan politics.

Rep. Paul Ryan has offered a plan that would make no changes whatsoever for anyone age 55 and older. I support it because, right now, it is the only plan out there that helps save Medicare. Democrats oppose it. Fine. But, if they have a better way to save Medicare, what are they waiting for to show us? What is their plan to save Medicare?...

I have been in the Senate just long enough to be disgusted by the reality that Washington has too many people who think their personal political careers are more important than our country’s future.

And this is coming from the gentleman from Florida, no less! A bold move for a Senator from the most senior-citizen-packed state in the union, and a cheering example of political leadership.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.