Politics Swirl Around Plans For Medicare’s Future, The Deficit
At home in their districts, Republicans are taking positions - and heat - on the Ryan budget plan, which would make significant changes to the Medicare program. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is taking his message - and his budget framework - on the road.
The Washington Post: Report: Obama Deficit Plan 'Falls Short' Of Fiscal Commission, House GOP Targets
President Obama's deficit-reduction plan "falls short" of targets set by House Republicans and Obama's own fiscal commission and would be unlikely to stabilize borrowing, according to a new independent analysis. The committee's analysis was based on the proposed savings offered in Obama's framework through 2021, including $130 billion in cuts to defense and security spending, $450 billion in cuts to domestic programs, more than $600 billion in cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and nearly $800 billion in fresh revenue from an overhaul of the tax code. The committee did not take into account the "debt fail-safe" Obama proposed, a sort of trigger that would force additional cuts if deficit targets were not met by 2014 (Montgomery, 4/21).
Los Angeles Times: Obama Makes His Case In California
President Obama sought to bolster California supporters Thursday by arguing that his administration has achieved a number of key goals, from health care reform to tax cuts, while acknowledging that delivering on the promises he made in 2008 has been more difficult than he had expected (Mehta and Reston, 4/21).
Reuters: Republicans Seek To Reassure Elderly On Medicare
Republicans pushing deep cuts to government spending are seeking to reassure older Americans that their health insurance will remain intact even if Medicare is privatized. Elderly voters could be pivotal in the 2012 election, where both Democrats and Republicans will be judged for proposed cuts to the federal health insurance program to reduce deficits. President Barack Obama has proposed trims to the old-age benefits while denouncing as "radical" a Republican plan that would replace Medicare with vouchers giving recipients a fixed amount of money to buy private insurance (Smith, 4/21).
CBS: Poll: Most Americans Say Medicare Is Worth The Cost
Most Americans think Medicare is worth the cost to taxpayers, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, but Republicans are split on the issue. However, when asked whether the government has a responsibility to provide health coverage to the elderly, most Republicans say it does. The new poll, conducted April 15 -20, underscores the politically risky step House Republicans have taken by endorsing a 2012 budget plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), which would dramatically transform the Medicare program (Condon, 4/21).
Los Angeles Times: Paul Ryan's Budget Draws Boos, Highlights Risk To GOP
Rep. Paul Ryan, the face of the GOP's efforts to scale back the size of the federal government and trim the federal deficit, was booed by some Wisconsin constituents this week, but not for the reason you might think. Ryan's budget plan, as overwhelmingly approved by the House, would convert Medicare into a program which would provide seniors with subsidies to purchase private health insurance. But as Ryan returned home along with the other 240 Republican members to explain the budget blueprint to voters, he received heat not for the Medicare proposal, but for his call to cut taxes for wealthy Americans (Oliphant, 4/21).
ABC: Is Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan Like Obama's?
President Obama has dubbed Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget "fairly radical." The Republican congressman from Wisconsin has claimed the president's Affordable Care Act "is accelerating our country toward bankruptcy." Underneath the rhetoric, however, Ryan's plan to reform Medicare - a central part of his 2012 proposal - bears some glaring similarities to President Obama's plan. It calls for setting up exchanges for older Americans similar to those proposed in the Democrats' health care plan that were widely panned by Republicans, even rejected by state leaders such as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (Khan, 4/22).
Newshour: Obama vs. Ryan Plans: What Medicare Costs Are Saved, Shifted?
Controlling mounting Medicare costs has become a central flash point in the budget deficit battle. Judy Woodruff discusses the brewing Medicare debate with Gail Wilensky, a former Medicare oversight official in the first Bush administration, and Chris Jennings, a former senior health adviser to President Clinton (4/21).
CNN: Counter-Attack In The Campaign Fight Over Medicare
The political battle over Medicare is getting hotter. 60 Plus, a conservative group, says it's going up with radio ads across the country to thank House Republicans for passing a budget that they say saves Medicare. This follows moves earlier this week by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, a Democratic-leaning political action committee, to go up with radio ads targeting Republicans who voted for their party's budget, accusing them of "ending Medicare." (Steinhauser, 4/21).
The Morning Call/Los Angeles Times: Pennsylvania Lawmaker Faces Heat Over Medicare At Town Hall
Reminiscent of the August 2009 town halls when members of Congress faced angry constituents over health care reforms, a public forum in Carbon County with Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) Wednesday night provided a glimpse of the strong emotions stirred by a Republican plan to alter Medicare benefits (Itkowitz, 4/21).
Politico: Newt Gingrich Rejects Paul Ryan Plan To End Medicare
Newt Gingrich has embraced Rep. Paul Ryan. But his budget plan? Not all of it. Gingrich on his Facebook page inched away from Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it and give seniors private insurance plans partially subsidized by the federal government (Marr, 4/21).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Gingrich Steps Away From Ryan Budget
In a post on his Facebook page Wednesday, Mr. Gingrich a likely presidential candidate instead embraced a voluntary plan that would give seniors the option to choose private plans without explicitly abolishing Medicare as we know it. That is in line with a Medicare proposal by former Democratic Congressional Budget Office director Alice Rivlin and former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, once embraced, then rejected by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Weisman, 4/21).