House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan calls the new Medicare proposal an evolution of his previous plan to save Medicare. The Janesville Republican is working with Oregon Senate Democrat Ron Wyden on the revised plan that saves Medicare from fiscal threats. “What I’m trying to accomplish here is to show that there’s a growing and bipartisan consensus on how to save Medicare.”
Ryan says the issue has become too partisan; having Wyden involved is helping to plant the seeds for having more bipartisan consensus both parties can accept.
Ryan says folks 55 and older will see no changes, but Medicare has to be reformed for the younger generations before it goes bankrupt. “It’s not that much different than what I have been proposing in the past; it has some changes to it, but it just shows that there’s bipartisan support that’s accruing here for this.”
That bipartisan support does not include the White House. “Yeah, I was surprised; I was disappointed. I was disappointed that the president just rejected this out of hand. When you see this kind of positive and these days rare bipartisan developments like this, one would think you would want to encourage that, but for the president to reject it … is very disappointing.”
Senior citizens would get a government subsidy to choose from a range of private care options, while preserving a traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan as an option. Under this new plan, the federal subsidy would grow as medical costs rise, so seniors won’t have to pick up any increased costs. Ryan’s original plan was approved by the House earlier this year without any Democrats.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:42