Rep. John Garamendi has represented California's 10th congressional district since November 2009. He previously served 16 years in the state Legislature, and has also served as California's Insurance Commissioner and Leutenant Governor.  Click here for Rep. Garamendi's full bio.

The Fiscal Cliff Can’t Be Solved by Throwing Seniors Over the Cliff

Special guest column by Rep. John Garamendi

I want to vote for a comprehensive bipartisan plan to address the fiscal cliff. I’m willing to take a tough vote. I’m willing to make sacrifices. I’m willing to feel the heat. But I’m not willing to solve the fiscal cliff by throwing seniors over the cliff. I draw the line at cutting benefits in Medicare and Social Security.

This week, House Republicans unveiled their fiscal cliff counterproposal. While they continue to call for an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, they propose offsetting this cost by gutting Medicare benefits, including raising the age of Medicare eligibility to 67. I won’t go there. As California’s Insurance Commissioner for eight years, I know this would be horrible policy, throwing millions of seniors into the rapacious hands of an insurance industry interested only in profits for its shareholders.