09/04/2012 06:21 pm ET

Hands Off My Medicare, Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan seems to think that adult Americans under the age of 55 are going to passively allow him to gut Medicare, end the Medicare guarantee, and risk their health security.

He's wrong.

He has designed his proposed Medicare reforms in such a way that they will not change Medicare for those 55 and over, but will substantially reduce Medicare benefits for those under age 55.

So he can, with real credibility, assure America's senior citizens of today that his Medicare reforms won't harm them directly.

What he doesn't tell them is that they will cause great harm to Americans under the age of 55.

He is banking on the idea that senior citizens are selfish and only care about their own well-being, and don't have in mind the welfare of their children and grandchildren as well.

It's a cynical and misguided assumption.

Senior citizens will prove to see through the smoke and mirrors of his plan and the divisiveness at its heart. They have children and grandchildren whom they love, young neighbors and friends whose health is important to them and who they believe deserve the same peace of mind and quality health care to which Medicare entitles them as senior citizens today.

Moreover, Americans between the ages of 18 and 55 are not going to take Ryan's Medicare reforms lying down and passively watch as Ryan dismantles one of the most valuable, important, and protective of American government programs.

We understand our own self interest and we won't let you undermine our rights to the same system of Medicare to which we have been contributing since we began to work.

So please Paul Ryan, go ahead and reform Medicare reasonably and responsibly, in a bipartisan way that maintains the Medicare guarantee and assures quality and accessible care to all Americans 65 and over now and for future generations but also works to reduce costs and waste.

But don't do it on the backs of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 55 and deprive them of health security once they enroll in Medicare when they are older.

Don't discriminate against non-senior citizens and propose a policy that insists they deserve less health security when they reach senior status than older Americans today.

Don't reform Medicare by dividing Americans when your task is to cultivate citizen solidarity and concern and action for the common good.

The American people deserve better from you and the Republican Party.