Ryan plan would repeal health law, offer private option Medicare

The budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan, House Budget chairman and a possible Republican contender for the White House in 2016, would repeal the health law but maintain its savings and taxes. Beginning with those who turn 65 in 2024, it would offer seniors a fixed amount to purchase a private plan or traditional fee for service Medicare.

The New York Times: Ryan's Budget Would Cut $5 Trillion In Spending Over A Decade
Mr. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and a possible White House contender in 2016, laid out a budget plan that cuts $5 trillion in spending over the next decade. He said it would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law (Weisman, 4/1). 

Los Angeles Times: House GOP Revives Paul Ryan's Austere Budget, Medicare Cuts
The blueprint from Ryan, the party's former vice presidential nominee, is expected to be met with stiff opposition not only from Democrats, but also from hard-line Republicans who want deeper austerity cuts to more quickly balance the budget (Mascaro, 4/1).

The Washington Post: Paul Ryan's Final Budget Plan Would Slash $5 Trillion In Next Decade
The 99-page plan is Ryan's last manifesto on government austerity as head of the Budget Committee. He has emerged as the GOP's leading light on fiscal policy in recent years, but he is term-limited as head of the budget panel and vying to become chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee next year while considering a 2016 presidential bid (O'Keefe, 4/1).

Politico: Paul Ryan's Budget Makes Big Medicare Changes
It's Paul Ryan's wish list. The House GOP 2015 budget, penned by the Wisconsin Republican, will seek to shave federal spending by $5 trillion by offering changes to social welfare programs, ending government ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and repealing Obamacare (French, 4/2).

The Wall Street Journal: Ryan Sees Budget Balancing 
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released an election-year budget blueprint Tuesday designed to unify Republicans behind an effort to balance the federal budget in 10 years, exposing the party to Democratic attacks over its proposed cuts to Medicare and other safety-net programs (Peterson and Paletta, 4/1).

Los Angeles Times: Paul Ryan Budget Cuts Deeply – But Will It Balance As Promised? 
Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, relies on a combination of previously approved Obamacare savings and tax hikes, along with a new way of measuring economic growth, to reach the 10-year goal of ridding the budget of red ink. That approach does not sit well with hard-line budget hawks, and could make Ryan's job even more difficult as the House prepares to vote on the budget next week (Parsons, 4/1).

CQ HealthBeat: Ryan Budget Would Turn Medicare Into Premium Support Program
The House Republican budget proposal released on Tuesday largely repeats previous health care ideas, including turning Medicare into a premium support program but also maintaining the program's $716 billion in savings from the 2010 health care law. The fiscal 2015 budget proposal, introduced by Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, would repeal most of the health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) and change Medicaid into a block grant program (Ethridge, 1/4).

The Associated Press: House GOP Plan Seeks Health Cuts To Balance Budget
Ryan promises to balance the government's books with wide-ranging cuts to programs such as food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class. It's a nonstarter with Obama but polishes the GOP's supply-side brand heading into midterm elections likely to be determined by the core voters of either party (4/2).

NBC News: What Ryan's Budget Means (And Doesn't Mean) For Medicare
Democrats have attacked the budget Republican Paul Ryan released Tuesday for trying to privatize and "voucherize" Medicare, the popular entitlement program for seniors. Republicans have countered that the proposed changes instead amount to "premium support" and offer a choice to future seniors. What are the changes that Rep. Ryan, R-Wis., has unveiled? Answer: Think of Obamacare, but with a public option attached (Murray, 4/1).

In other Medicare news -

The Associated Press: Obama Signs Bill Temporarily Fixing Medicare Fees
The $21 billion bill would stave off a 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors for a year and extend dozens of other expiring health care provisions, such as higher payment rates for rural hospitals. The legislation is paid for by cuts to health care providers, but fully half of the cuts won't kick in for 10 years (4/1).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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