Close to a dozen senior citizens and a former North Carolina Congressman gathered outside the Pitt County Republican headquarters Wednesday, concerned over what they say would be negative effects from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Medicare plan.
The group says they're concerned that Ryan's budget plans will gut their Medicare benefits and say his plan will drive their costs for health care up by over $6,000.
Former Second District Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge, who once served on the budget committee with Ryan, says he shares the groups concerns. "He passed this budget along very partisan lines in the house and what it says to a senior citizen in this country is, you're on your own now because we will no longer have a defined benefit."
Ryan says he invites debate over his proposal to overhaul Medicare.
The Wisconsin Congressman told an Ohio audience Wednesday night that the Republican presidential ticket led by Mitt Romney will win that debate.
Romney named Ryan as his running mate on Saturday. Since then, Democrats have pounced on his plan to transform the popular health care system for seniors.
The House Budget Committee chairman has proposed a voucher-like system for Medicare that would likely result in higher out-of-pocket costs. Ryan says the plan is necessary to protect the popular program for future retirees.