Congressman's Medicare Stance Draws Protests

U.S. Rep. Allen West Holds Town Hall Meeting In Pompano Beach

Published On: Dec 14 2011 04:56:33 PM EST   Updated On: May 17 2011 06:17:51 AM EDT
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -

U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-District 22, held a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach on Tuesday afternoon as demonstrators protested his stance on Medicare.

Members of the political action committee Move On chanted, "Hands off Medicare!" outside the Pompano Beach Civic Center.

"Congressman West has voted for the Ryan budget plan that totally destroys Medicare," said protester Peter Becker.

"I am not ending Medicare," West told the audience at the town hall meeting. "It is going to go from a fee-for-service to a defined contribution."

West recently voted with nearly every other Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut Medicare funding.

Most in the town hall audience applauded West's position. But a handful said that West and others are cutting Medicare in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

"He wants to give them more of a tax break than they already have. I'm just appalled," Anne Deon said.

West said that with the challenges the U.S. faces, if changes are not made now to Medicare, the program may not continue to be around.

"OK, then, I'll keep my hands out of Medicare, and then what the Medicare trustees said on Friday, that Medicare would be done in 2024. Then, people can come back and ask me what will I do about it afterwards."