KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ryan’s Budget Plan — To Be Released Today — Reprises 2012 Election Issues With Medicare, Medicaid Changes

Early reports on the budget being advanced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., suggest the blueprint will score savings by proposing to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, repealing much of the 2010 health law and applying a premium support model to Medicare.

The Wall Street Journal: Ryan Plan Revives '12 Election Issues
He will propose letting seniors buy private insurance or remain in Medicare, with premiums subsidized by the federal government, and turning Medicaid into a block-grant program. The moves would save hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years, while potentially raising costs for Medicare beneficiaries and sharply cutting the number of Medicaid recipients. His budget would also repeal the White House's 2010 health care law (Paletta and Peterson, 3/11).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: New House GOP Budget Again Takes Aim At Obamacare, Medicaid, Would Lead To Balance In 10 Years
House Republicans are sticking to their guns on the federal budget, promising to try to repeal so-called Obamacare, cut domestic programs from Medicaid to college grants and require future Medicare patients to bear more of the program's cost. The point is to prove it's possible to balance the budget within 10 years by simply cutting spending and avoiding further tax hikes, even as the fiscal blueprint to be released Tuesday by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will be dead on arrival with the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate (3/12).

Politico: Ryan Budget Targets Obamacare, Oil Drilling
The House Republican budget will balance in 10 years by increasing oil drilling, repealing President Barack Obama's health care law, changing Medicare, overhauling welfare and rewriting the tax code (Sherman, 3/11).

Roll Call: Budget Chairman Ryan Projects Balance Through $5 Trillion In Spending Cuts, Medicare Shift
The House Republican budget will balance the budget over 10 years in part by cutting spending by about $5 trillion and turning Medicare into a premium support program, Rep. Paul D. Ryan said Sunday. The Wisconsin Republican, whose previous budget resolutions have been signposts for GOP economic policy priorities, said the fiscal 2014 plan that he will release Tuesday will not need to make dramatic changes from previous proposals because of improved economic circumstances (Ethridge, 3/10).

National Journal: House GOP Confident On Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan
Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years would have been, until recently, cause for House Republicans to fret. But emboldened by last year's elections, in which they say attacks on Ryan's previous proposals fizzled, the House GOP believes it can adopt the Budget Committee chairman's new proposal and avoid backlash at the same time. There are limits to that confidence. Moderate Republicans scuttled a push for Ryan's Medicare overhaul to take effect earlier, something they say would have broken a promise that Americans now as young as 55 would still be able to enroll later in the traditional health care program (Roarty, 3/11).

In related news -

Politico: Sen. Ron Johnson Pounds Obamacare
Sen. Ron Johnson on Monday ripped into Obamacare, trying to back up House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's decision to seek the law's repeal in his proposed budget. "I think the cost estimate of Obamacare is grossly understated," Johnson said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I think far more Americans are going to lose their employer-sponsored care because there are incentives for employers to drop their coverage and make their employees eligible for huge subsidies and exchanges. I think this is going to explode our deficit, I think this is going to lead to rationing. It will lead to rationing, lower quality of care" (Robillard, 3/11).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.