Dems Sharpen Focus On Medicare; Reid To Hold Vote On Ryan Budget
Democrats are going on the offensive and using the controversial Republican plan to overhaul Medicare to seize the political moment. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has signaled that he intends to bring the budget plan, which includes the Medicare proposal advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to the Senate floor in order to force GOP lawmakers go on record with their positions.
The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Focus On Medicare
Congressional Democrats, on the defensive for months on federal spending issues, see an opportunity to seize the political initiative by pushing to the forefront a House Republican plan to overhaul Medicare. In a sign of the his party's emboldened posture, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said Wednesday he would soon bring the House measure to a Senate vote (Hook and Yadron, 4/28).
Politico: Harry Reid To Force Senate Vote On Paul Ryan's Budget
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday he will hold a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan when Congress returns from recess - setting up a potential litmus test for Senate Republicans on whether they support Ryan's dramatic budget cuts. As Congress hurtles toward its late spring deadline to raise the nation's debt limit, Reid says he wants to force GOP senators to take a stand on the Ryan plan, which would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, and cut trillions over the next decade (Shiner, 4/28).
The Hill: Reid Will Hold Senate Vote On Ryan Budget
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will hold a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget in an effort to divide the Senate GOP conference. Reid said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that he would hold a vote, saying it would give the Senate GOP an opportunity to say where it stands (Fabian, 4/27).
CQ HealthBeat: Reid Plans Test Vote on House GOP Budget Plan
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would hold a vote on the House Republicans' fiscal 2012 budget, after GOP lawmakers faced several days of tough questions from constituents and weak polling numbers for the proposal. "We'll see how much the Republicans like it here in the Senate," said Reid, D-Nev., on a call with reporters Wednesday. The budget plan (H Con Res 34), written by House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, has dominated lawmakers' meetings in their districts over the past two weeks. Liberal groups and Democrats have encouraged voters to ask tough questions about the plan, which calls for cuts in the growth of entitlement programs, including Medicare (Ethridge and Friel, 4/27).
MarketWatch: Senate To Vote On House Budget-Cutting Plan
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he plans to hold a vote on a House-passed plan that would cut about $6 trillion in government spending over the next decade and dramatically remake Medicare. The bill passed in the House on April 15 with no Democratic support and is expected to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But a vote on the budget bill will give senators of both parties a chance to be on record about the plan, which is generating controversy for its proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher-style program (Schroeder, 4/27).
Politico Pro: Democrats to Ryan: Thanks For The Gift
By promising a Senate vote on Paul Ryan's budget plan, Majority Leader Harry Reid is buying into what has quickly become the consensus among Democrats: The Ryan budget is their best opportunity yet to get off of defense on health care. Democrats and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act have come to believe that Ryan's plan will allow them to turn the tables on pretty much all of the charges Republicans have hurled (Nather, 4/28).
Meanwhile, McClatchy offers an overview of the policies in play and The Hill reports on an analysis of the GOP plan offered by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
McClatchy: What To Do About Medicare Is At Heart Of Budget Debate
Congress and the White House are engaged in the most far-reaching debate about Medicare in the health program's 46-year history, an epic struggle that could bring significant changes in how the government helps seniors and others pay for their care. Medicare faces a daunting financial crisis, forcing lawmakers to confront stark choices (Lightman, 4/27).
The Hill: Liberal Policy Shop: Ryan Medicare Plan Drives Health Care Costs Up $34T
Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal to replace Medicare with private insurance subsidies would drive health care costs up by $34 trillion over the program's 75-year planning period, according to a new report from the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research. The report extrapolated the data from the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Ryan proposal, which found that the cost of private plans would increase faster than Medicare costs (Pecquet, 4/27).