Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good news for Dems: Ryan, GOP sticking with unpopular Medicare plan

Democrats should be happy to hear that House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, are committed to trying to end Medicare as we know it again in their 2012 budget.  ABC News:
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says Republicans have no plans to shy away from controversial efforts to reform entitlements when the House GOP drafts its budget this year, including transforming Medicare into a premium-support system.
“We’re not backing off on the kinds of reforms that we’ve advocated, but we have to write it,” Paul said during a break at the GOP’s issues conference in Baltimore today. “We’ve done more to normalize the idea of premium support than anything at all. We’re confident that these are the right policies. There’s an emerging bipartisan consensus that’s occurring on doing premium support reform to Medicare is the best way to save Medicare.”
There is, of course, no such emerging consensus. Ryan got one Democrat to fall for his latest version of the plan and co-sponsor it with him. But Democrats would be nuts to support Ryan's plan, which is political poison.

More from Reuters:
Ryan said he wanted his budget plan to offer voters an alternative vision to the "cradle-to-grave welfare state" that he says Democratic President Barack Obama is promoting.
The House Republican budget resolution will contain reforms to Medicare, the healthcare program for Americans 62 and over, such as providing subsidies to help recipients pay for private insurance, based on their wealth and medical needs.
 "We haven't written it yet, but we're not backing off on the kinds of reforms we've advocated," Ryan told reporters at a retreat for House Republicans in Baltimore.
The Obama White House must be celebrating.

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