GOP Lawmakers Defend Proposed Overhaul Of Medicare
Sens. Richard Burr and Tom Coburn are proposing a plan to raise Medicare's eligibility age and premiums and require the program to compete with private insurers. Rep. Paul Ryan, in the meantime, is "excited" to defend his own plan.
The Hill: GOP Senators Push For Medicare Cuts
Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are pushing for major reductions in Medicare spending, even though they know the idea probably won't be popular with GOP colleagues in an election year. Burr and Coburn announced their plan, which is expected to reduce Medicare spending by between $300 billion and $1 trillion in the next decade, at a news conference Thursday (Bolton, 2/16).
CQ HealthBeat: Republican Senators Float Medicare Transformation
Republicans Tom Coburn and Richard M. Burr introduced a plan Thursday to transform Medicare by increasing the eligibility age, raising premiums for middle- and high-income seniors and requiring the traditional fee-for-service plan to compete with private insurers. The two senators said they had a "moral obligation" to make a serious effort to save the Medicare program, admitting they were taking a political gamble by touching a hot topic (Ethridge, 2/16).
Politico: Paul Ryan 'Excited' To Defend Medicare Plan
House Democrats have made no secret of their desire to make Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his Medicare reforms their biggest weapon against Republicans in November. Ryan has a simple response: Bring it on. "If you just play defense or ignore this, they're going to define this, they're going to demagogue you and they'll get away with it," Ryan told reporters Thursday during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. ... Ryan said the May 2011 special election in New York, where now Rep. Kathy Hochul and fellow Democrats seized on the Medicare issue to win control of the traditionally GOP district, taught Republicans to play offense on health care (Kim, 2/16).