KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Skeptics Of Ryan’s Blueprint Take Positions Against Specific Proposals

A group of Democratic governors was expected to send a letter Monday opposing key proposals to overhaul Medicaid. Meanwhile, some advocates for seniors and children are taking exception to Ryan's ideas about revamping Medicare into a voucher program and other steps they say will will put vulnerable populations at risk.

The Hill: Dem Govs To Blast GOP Medicaid Cuts
Sixteen Democratic governors are expected to send a letter to congressional leaders later Monday opposing a Medicaid overhaul, The Hill has learned. The letter would come on the eve of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) unveiling of a 2012 budget proposal that is expected to propose turning Medicaid into a block grant program. As The Hill first reported two weeks ago, Ryan's budget could also cut the health care program for low-income Americans by as much as $1 trillion. The letter is expected to have more than a dozen signatories, with one major absence: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Pecquet, 4/4).

National Journal: Left Takes Aim At Ryan's Health Voucher Proposal
A poll conducted last September by National Journal and the Pew Research Center suggest Americans may side with Democrats on this one. The survey of 1,001 Americans found 52 percent oppose a Medicare voucher program, compared to 33 percent who favor one and 15 percent who said they did not know or declined to answer. But among respondents 65 years or older, 69 percent said they oppose vouchers, versus 14 percent who favor them and 17 percent who were unsure. "To ask people with Medicare and Medicaid to foot the entire bill is not only unfair, but it will eventually lead to much less care and a type of rationing," said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. "There's no doubt that putting more costs on consumers, particularly upfront, leads them to access less care" (DoBias, 4/4).

CQ HealthBeat: Advocates Line Up Against House Republicans' Budget Proposal
Advocates for children and seniors said Monday that the budget House Republicans will unveil Tuesday morning could create serious problems for vulnerable Americans who need health care coverage. "If we do see anything like the rumored cuts that we've heard about on Sunday news shows, then we could very quickly unravel the success we have had in covering kids," said Jocelyn Guyer, co-executive director at Georgetown's Center for Children and Families (CCF). Advocacy groups are bracing for deep cuts that are expected in the fiscal 2012 budget resolution being released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan. Although the Senate is unlikely to go along with the cuts, the debate will set up a dramatic fight between Republicans and Democrats in Congress (Adams, 4/4). 

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