Medicare Issues Play Out In Early Presidential, Congressional Politics
Medicare is again a hot-button issue as news outlets speculate on how Republican plans to revamp the program could play into the upcoming election season.
Reuters: Health Care Ills Infect 2012-Bound Republicans
The troubled health care industry, recently a problem for Democrats facing voter anger over President Barack Obama's overhaul law, is now plaguing Republicans hoping to take the White House in 2012. The health law proved a liability for Democrats in the November 2010 elections as Republicans surged to big victories in Congress by labeling it and other Obama-backed programs as the heavy-handed intrusions of big government. But unhappiness over health care has now begun to infect Republicans seeking their party's presidential nomination - particularly concerns about Republican efforts to revamp Medicare, the popular health care program for older Americans (Zengerle, 5/18).
ABC News: Referendum On Republican Medicare Plan? NY-26 Race Heats Up
Democrats are gaining momentum in the special election in western New York to replace Republican Rep. Chris Lee, as a GOP plan to overhaul Medicare takes center stage in the surprisingly competitive race. Observers are cautious to label the race as a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial budget plan and advise against reading too much into one contest, but there's no doubt the issue's prevalence in the race is making Republicans nervous. In a district that heavily leans Republican, and where only three Democrats have won in the last century, GOP candidate Jane Corwin is in a surprise, neck-and-neck race with Democratic Erie County official Kathy Hochul (Khan, 5/18).
The Hill: Schumer: Gingrich Knows He Can't Win On Ryan Plan
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) took advantage of the flap between GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to aim another shot at Ryan's budget plan. Schumer, chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, said Wednesday the former Speaker realizes it's impossible to be elected president while supporting House Budget Committee chairman Ryan's budget plan. "What Newt seems to realize is that it would be impossible to win the White House if they embrace the Ryan plan. If Republicans make endorsing the Ryan plan the standard in the Republican primary, it will make the nominee unelectable," Schumer said, according to the Plum Line's Greg Sargent (Strauss, 5/18).
The Hill: Pelosi To Wisconsin To Defend Medicare
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will appear in Wisconsin Thursday to highlight the Medicare cuts recently passed by House Republicans. The location is no accident. Not only was Wisconsin the site of the recent standoff between state workers and the new GOP governor over government benefits, but the GOP Medicare cuts were the handiwork of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R), who chairs the House Budget Committee (Lillis, 5/18).