On Capitol Hill, Both Parties See Political Advantage In Rep. Ryan’s Newest Plan
The budget proposal offered last week by the Wisconsin Republican would revamp the Medicare system.
The Washington Post: In Budget Battle, GOP Regroups On Medicare Message
Congressional Republicans recognize that the $3.5 trillion budget proposal the GOP-led House is expected to adopt this week remains fraught with political peril, but they also believe they now know how to blunt Democratic attacks on its Medicare overhaul components and should be able to avoid the political pummeling they suffered as a result last year (Helderman and Kane, 3/25).
Reuters: U.S. Spending Cuts Bite In Paul Ryan's Home Town
Republican U.S. Representative Paul Ryan's budget-cutting vision has made him a hero to conservatives across the country. It's less popular in his hometown. As Ryan's proposal to slash taxes and spending started to move through Congress last week, local officials in this humble Rust Belt city scrambled to recover from last year's cutbacks. ... There's less money for job training, health clinics and the food bank; higher property taxes and higher car fees; larger school class sizes, crumbling roads, fewer firefighters (Sullivan, 3/25).
The Hill: Dems Again Seek To Stick Paul Ryan Medicare Reform Plan With 'Voucher' Label
What's in a name? No less than President Obama's reelection, Democrats hope -- if they can just get the dreaded "voucher" label to stick to Republicans' Medicare overhaul. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) prefers "premium support." The difference might seem like some arcane bit of inside-the-Beltway trivia, but Democrats will be repeating the V-word from now through November as they try to persuade seniors that Ryan wants to give them a worthless piece of paper that will leave them holding the bag as their health care costs skyrocket (Pecquet, 3/25).
Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate are still considering options on their strategy to repeal the federal health law --
Modern Healthcare: Senate GOP Still Deciding On Further Repeal Votes, McConnell Says
Senate Republicans remain undecided about whether to push for additional votes on repealing the federal healthcare overhaul before the November election, according to their leader. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, said at a Friday news conference that pushing for such a vote is "still under discussion" among Republican senators (Daly, 3/23).
Politico: Ben Nelson Stands By His Key Vote
But in an interview with POLITICO, Nelson -- who opted to retire rather than seek a third term -- expressed no regrets, saying there's little he would have done differently. Those who perpetuate the tale that he got a special deal for Nebraska are only interested in "fiction or folklore," he said. And he took some parting shots at Republicans for walking away from the negotiating table at the height of the 2009 health care debate (Wong, 3/25).
Also in the news, former Medicare chief Donald Berwick recently spoke about the health law.
The Washington Post: Conversations: Don Berwick Looks Ahead On Health Care
Berwick spoke with The Washington Post about how the Affordable Care Act has changed the health-care system, what challenges it faces in coming years and why his time as Medicare administrator may be his only stint in government service (Kliff, 3/25).