Friday, March 9, 2012

GOP and Traditional Medicare, GOP Still Negotiating

Can GOP Deliver On Its Promise To Preserve Traditional Medicare?

From Kaiser Health News:  "House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's promise to preserve traditional Medicare, which is likely to appear in his soon-to-be unveiled budget plan, could have big implications for Republican presidential and congressional candidates in November.  That pledge -- to allow future beneficiaries to remain in the government-run program that allows them to choose their own doctors and pay a percentage of the costs -- was part of a proposal to overhaul Medicare that the Wisconsin Republican put forward in December with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore."

"Proponents see the new proposal as more politically palatable than last year's House budget that would have eliminated traditional Medicare, and which may have cost the GOP a congressional seat in New York.  But some critics argue the overhaul would change the current program so fundamentally that it might no longer be a desirable -- or affordable -- option."

Republican Renegotiation

"Conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are not satisfied with spending caps mandated by last year's debt limit deal and are seeking deeper cuts -- even if this raises the risk of another government shutdown fight.  Republican aides said on Wednesday some members of the House Budget Committee are pressing for a budget resolution that holds discretionary spending at least $97 billion below the $1.047 trillion cap set by the Budget Control Act for fiscal 2013.  Members of the Republican Study Committee, a staunchly conservative wing of the party that includes many lawmakers backed by the Tea Party movement, are advocating $931 billion in discretionary spending, although some have suggested a compromise figure of $950 billion."

MORE:  "Less than a year after reaching a budget agreement with President Barack Obama, House GOP leaders now seem likely to walk away from it under pressure from tea party-backed conservatives eager to show voters they're serious about shrinking the government."

STILL MORE:  "Signs mounted Thursday that House Republican leaders, under pressure from their conservative members, will submit a budget that calls for cutting federal programs beneath the levels they agreed to in the bipartisan August debt limit.  Democrats warned that violating the agreement could spark a government shutdown fight later this year."

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