KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House GOP Budget Plan Under The Microscope

More details of the House GOP budget plan are taking shape, including the blueprint's inclusion of Democratic Medicare cuts that were subject to Republican criticism during the election season. Other parts of the health law also would stay intact. Meanwhile, the full House is scheduled to vote on the 2012 budget measure this week.

The Associated Press: House GOP Budget Retains Democratic Medicare Cuts
In a postelection reversal, House Republicans are supporting nearly $450 billion in Medicare cuts that they criticized vigorously last fall when Democrats and President Barack Obama passed them as part of their controversial health care law (Espo, 4/13).

The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: Ryan Budget Leaves Parts Of Health Law Intact
Still, it's worth noting that the plan doesn't actually repeal the entire health care law. The blueprint released Tuesday would overturn major parts, like the requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a fee, and it would cancel $777 billion slated to go toward subsidies to help people buy insurance. But it would retain some sharp bites to the health care industry (Adamy, 4/12).

Los Angeles Times: House GOP Faces Risky Vote On Medicare, Medicaid
House Republicans will make a defining choice this week on a sweeping plan to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, and many are not eager for a vote that could put their jobs at risk. Democrats, however, are eager to see the House take up the Republican 2012 budget plan. They say it represents an on-the-record endorsement by Republicans of a plan to upend a social program cherished by a growing number of aging Americans (Oliphant and Hennessey, 4/12).

Kaiser Health News: Ryan Plan For Medicare Is 'Pure Budget Solution, Not A Health Policy Solution' – The KHN Interview
Kaiser Health News' Marilyn Werber Serafini talks with Alec Vachon about his doubts regarding "the workability of a GOP proposal – called premium support – to transform Medicare into a system of limited government help. Vachon, a health care consultant who worked for top Republicans on Capitol Hill for more than a decade, says the idea, put forth last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would be a problem if federal contributions were insufficient to help seniors buy an insurance policy" (Serafini, 4/12).

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