Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is urging New Yorkers who rely on the federal Medicare Program to contact their federal representatives in light of proposals to privatize Medicare.

He says the program that has kept hundreds of thousands of upstate New York residents living on their own with quality health care faces extinction.

Brindisi says House Speaker Paul Ryan favors a plan to eliminate Medicare coverage and replace it with a voucher system.

He says a voucher plan would lead to seniors being given a limited amount of funding for higher cost, less comprehensive care, with more red tape to navigate.

"This proposal would not just cut the safety net for millions of seniors, but would fire a cannon ball through it. It is simply inexcusable to see a program that so many people depend on and have already paid into turn into much more limited private system of health care, and I am urging everyone who depends on Medicare to contact their representatives in the U.S. Senate and Congress and let them know how devastating to them these changes could be," Brindisi said.

Over 196,000 seniors in Central New York are enrolled in Medicare.