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News Roundup: Taking the GOP to Task for Trying to End Medicare

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At town hall meetings over the past two weeks, Republican members of Congress have felt the heat for their attempt to privatize Medicare, which would eliminate benefits and raise costs for millions of seniors. And news outlets from around the country are catching on – here’s what they’re saying:

Palm Beach Post: “West, like Republicans at home district meetings nationwide, draws hecklers on Medicare.” U.S. Rep. Allen West's first town hall meeting since voting for a controversial Medicare proposal saw three hecklers removed. … Inside the meeting, West was less than a minute into his remarks tonight when two or three men began shouting from the audience."How about our Medicare that you're stealing?" shouted one."How about allowing questions from the audience?" shouted another man, apparently dissatisfied with West's decision to answer written questions submitted by audience members before the meeting.

The Slatest: “Medicare Plan puts GOP on Defensive.” It looks like House Republicans are getting their own taste of what it’s like to try to explain nuanced healthcare policy to a fearful public.A growing number of the GOP lawmakers are being met with public anger and outbursts at town hall meetings over the party’s proposal to overhaul Medicare.Still, Republicans haven’t had an easy go of it since returning home last week for a two-week district work period, the first time many lawmakers have met face-to-face with large public groups since the GOP unveiled its sweeping budget proposal.

Huffington Post: “GOP Town Halls: Reps Forced To Screen Questions, Duck Out Of Meetings In Secret.” The wave of town hall protests targeting House Republicans, and aided by labor and progressive groups, is forcing lawmakers to put restrictions on the forum’s traditionally open structure. On Tuesday night, Rep. Allen West’s office (R-Fl.) reportedly screened questioners during his town hall event by requiring individuals to fill out index cards which were then vetted by his staff.

CBS News: “Angry voters crowd GOP town meetings.” The town meetings in this mostly rural district are normally intimate affairs. But this week, constituents from Twin Lakes to Kenosha are being turned away as capacity crowds inside come to praise or condemn the plan Ryan likes to call the "path to prosperity.""Your plan screws the next two generations," one constituent is heard telling Ryan.Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, is trying to convince mostly older audiences that Medicare for future generations should be replaced with subsidies that would partly pay for private insurance.

Washington Post: “More voters in GOP districts angry over Ryan’s Medicare proposal.” With more House GOPers catching an earful from constituents worried about Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals, here’s something to keep an eye out for: Do voters agree with the Dem argument — strongly denied by Republicans — that Ryan’s plan would end Medicare? Those interviewed either explicitly agree that the GOP plan ends Medicare, or suggest that the plan transforms the program’s mission so fundamentally that it will no longer play its intended role.

Click here to read additional news coverage from outlets around the country.