GOP Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Seeks To Adjust Medicaid, Medicare
On Tuesday, Republicans are expected to release their fiscal year 2012 federal budget proposal, which seeks to reduce the federal deficit by at least $4 trillion over the next 10 years, in part by overhauling Medicare and Medicaid, the Los Angeles Times reports (Hennessey, Los Angeles Times, 4/4).
Medicare, Medicaid Changes
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to present the plan, which would provide Medicare beneficiaries with lump-sum vouchers to buy private insurance and would turn Medicaid into a block grant system.
Ryan said the Medicare plan would shift more costs to beneficiaries, but he noted that high-income elderly residents would pay the most (Fernholz/O'Donnell, National Journal, 4/1).
The Medicaid overhaul would provide states with fixed annual block grants of $11,000 per beneficiary to use as they choose. Republicans' 2012 budget plan estimates that if theÂ federal health reform lawÂ is repealed, savings from the block grant plan could be significant (California Healthline, 4/1).
According to Ryan, the GOP plan relies mostly on making spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs instead of increasing revenue. Ryan said the budget proposal goes further than recommendations by President Obama's deficit reduction commission, which last year called for almost $4 trillion in cuts through 2020.
Democrats criticized the proposal for emphasizing entitlement reductions, instead of balancing cuts with increased revenue (Los Angeles Times, 4/4).
It is unclear how much support the Medicare voucher system would receive from other Republicans or elderly residents. However, block Medicaid grants have received much support in the past, particularly from governors, including Democrats (National Journal, 4/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.