KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ryan Budget Plan Draws Tough Talk From Obama While Insurers Keep Their Distance

President Barack Obama offers sharp critcism of the GOP budget plan, which passed the House on a near-party-line vote last week and which has been embraced by GOP presidential hopefuls.  Although the plan, written by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would greatly expand the role of private insurers in Medicare, the insurance industry has been mostly silent as well.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Calls House GOP Budget Plan A Trojan Horse For 'Radical' Change
Obama, in a speech to newspaper executives, is sharply criticizing a $3.5 trillion budget proposal pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which passed on a near-party-line vote last week and has been embraced by GOP presidential hopefuls. The plan has faced fierce resistance from Democrats, who say it would gut Medicare, slash taxes for the wealthy and lead to deep cuts to crucial programs such as aid to college students and highway and rail projects (4/2).

Politico Pro: Insurers Keep Distance From Ryan Plan
The Paul Ryan budget would greatly expand the market for private insurers, offering them the chance to enroll millions of new Medicare customers under a premium support model. So you would think insurers would be overjoyed. Guess again. What at first blush looks like a boon for insurance companies instead appears to be more of a bane — or at least a big question mark. The politics behind the Ryan proposal are noxious enough that the industry is keeping its distance. No House Democrat supports the Ryan budget, and even some House Republicans bailed. And the policy behind the budget blueprint hasn't been fleshed out enough for insurers to feel confident that they really know how it would work (DoBias, 4/3).

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