Paul Ryan on the Issues that Matter Most to Women

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate and …"I'm not concerned about the very poor," Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told CNN in February. "We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it." But the budget proposed by his Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, targets much of that same safety net, with more than half of its cost-cutting measures aimed at the very poor, including women and children.

Related: Who is Janna Ryan? A stay-at-home mom with a powerful -- and democratic -- political family

Ryan's track record on the issues that matter most to women has come under fire in the few days since Romney picked him to be his running mate. He voted against the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act, is a passionate advocate for fetal personhood, and has voted several times to defund Planned Parenthood. As a first-term congressman in 1998, he said that he favored overturning Roe v. Wade and would let states decide whether to criminalize abortion. (While he says he hasn't called for jailing women who have abortions and doctors who perform them, when asked about it in 1998 he didn't rule it out, telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "if it's illegal, it's illegal.")

His budget plan -- which he calls "The Path to Prosperity" -- passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate. Here's how his ideas would impact the issues women care about most this election season:

Education: Fewer students will be eligible for Pell Grants, and those who do manage to secure one won't get as much money (the Ryan budget won't allow the grants to increase with inflation). Students with loans will pay twice as much interest -- 6.8 percent, up from the current 3.4 percent. With more women earning college degrees than men,

Taxes: Those who earn less than $30,000 a year would lose the Earned Income Tax Credit and lose out on services because the top 20 percent of earners will be keeping close to $14,000 more each -- money that usually goes to fund unemployment programs and food stamps (which would also be cut). Those in the middle would have to do without most of the most-popular tax breaks, including mortgage deductions.

Medicare and Medicaid: Under Ryan's plan to turn Medicaid over to the states, up to 27 million Americans would lose medical coverage, The Associated Press reports, citing an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. And that's on top of the 7 million who are expected to gain coverage in 2014 under the Obamacare, which Ryan, like Romney, wants to repeal. His proposed overhaul of Medicare won't affect those who are 55 years old or older now, but middle aged workers who would enter the system in 2022 would be affected. Instead of being automatically enrolled, you'll receive a"premium support payment" to put toward buying private insurance; the rest you'll have to pay out of pocket, and it'll cost you about $6,800 a year more than it does now, according to Ohio Democratic Representative Tim Ryan.

Social Security: Ryan wants to privatize Social Security by shifting Social Security funds to private retirement accounts while reducing benefits and slowly raising the age of eligibility. The big winner here would probably be Wall Street; benefits would actually be cut for the top 70 percent of recipients, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. But in terms of his plans to reform entitlements, the biggest issue here is that Social Security isn't actually an entitlement program -- wage-earners pay into it, and retired workers get the pay out. This plan was part of Ryan's 2010 offering, "Roadmap for America's Future," and Romney has generally avoided endorsing it.

Military Families and Veterans: Ryan voted against a proposal to increase combat pay from $225 per month to $350, and his budget proposal carves $11 billion out of services for veterans. "Republicans and Paul Ryan will strip away care for our veterans, in the name of budget cutting," according to, which points out that 39.3 percent of veterans use Medicare, compared to 14 percent of the general population. "These proposals are draconian, cruel, and unfair to those men and women who put their lives on the line for this country."

Jobs: The Path to Prosperity doesn't directly address job creations, but according to Ryan's website, his plan to create jobs is to have the government create "an economic-friendly environment that allows businesses to grow and create jobs," including "fixing the tax code to help job creators."

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