WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today vowed to protect Medicare from privatization attempts that would erode the care Medicare provides to more than two million Ohio seniors.

Following House Speaker Paul Ryan’s renewed push to privatize Medicare and the nomination of Congressman Tom Price, who supports these privatization efforts, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Brown said today that he will fight all attempts to privatize the program or raise its eligibility age. Brown called Price’s nomination a betrayal of President-Elect Donald Trump’s promise to protect and strengthen Medicare.

“Congressman Tom Price – who has been nominated as HHS Secretary – has supported Speaker Paul Ryan’s privatization plan that would yank care away from Ohio seniors and our most vulnerable, and replace it with meaningless vouchers that will take money out of the pockets of Ohio seniors and hand it over to Wall Street,” said Brown. “This is also the same crowd that has tried to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. Folks like Tom Price and Donald Trump who wear suits and work in this town might be able to work until 67, but tell that to waitresses and nurses and steelworkers who work on their feet all day.”

Brown also stressed the need to protect Social Security from privatization.

“Soon I will be introducing a bill that will protect and expand Social Security – because we know when this crowd goes after Medicare, Social Security can’t be far behind,” said Brown.

Brown has offered specific proposals to strengthen Medicare, including the Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act, which would reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors and provide new support for low-income beneficiaries. He also supports the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act to give Medicare the ability to negotiate better prescription drug prices for seniors.