Zerban, Supporters Are Confident Contest Against Ryan is 'Winnable'
Paul Ryan has been tough to beat in First Congressional races, but opposing campaign feels it's their time
Rob Zerban, Democratic challenger for the First Congressional District seat that Paul Ryan currently holds, says he's feeling "confident" that "this is absolutely different this year - it's a winnable race. Paul Ryan has made himself vulnerable by suggesting that medicare be privatized."
Zerban said that the recent upsurge in political activism has affected all voting blocks, involving younger voters as well as seniors.
Elizabeth, 76, came to the kickoff event in Waukesha County at the Labor Temple on Saturday, to underscore Zerban's point.
"I think Zerban is an excellent candidate, and I'm concerned about Ryan, who talks about medicare and says he doesn't want to get rid of it, but I know that's not so," she said.
Ryan, along with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), unveiled a new plan in December 2011 that would preserve the 46-year-old federal health program in its current form and keep government-run Medicare as an option for new retirees starting in 2022, along with a variety of private plans.
Seniors would still receive a set amount of money from the government to buy insurance, as they would under the Medicare proposal Ryan included in the budget blueprint that passed the House last year, but the new approach would let that subsidy, known as premium support, rise or fall along with the actual cost of the policies.
Zerban addressed his supporters, saying that he was successful in part due to his upbringing on "government cheese and lunch programs, and later the availability of Pell grants to allow me to pursue an education."
Attempts to garner a response from the Ryan campaign for this article went unanswered.