House Approves Ryan’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal, Axes Separate GOP Plan
On Thursday, the House voted 228-191 to approve House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, which would repeal the federal health reform law and alter Medicaid and Medicare, the Wall Street Journal reports.
All Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against Ryan's budget.
The vote comes after a two-day debate between Democrats and Republicans over an array of scheduled spending cuts and tax increases that likely will continue during the months leading up to the November election, according to the Journal.
Democrats largely targeted their criticism of Ryan's proposal on its plan to overhaul Medicare while not raising taxes for high-income U.S. residents. They also charged that the budget's proposal to cap Medicare spending growth would fail to keep up with the program's costs, imposing an even larger burden on beneficiaries (Bendavid/Paletta, Wall Street Journal, 3/29).
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued that the GOP budget "ends the Medicare guarantee" (Fram, Washington Times, 3/29).
Rep. David McKinley (R-W. Va.), one of the 10 Republicans who voted against the budget, noted that he has supported cuts amounting to more than $5 trillion in government spending but said that he found the House budget to be unacceptable. "I can't support a plan that cuts Medicare, removes widely-used tax credits for homeowners and health care, and still doesn't balance the budget for 28 years," he said (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/29).
Republican supporters of Ryan's plan countered that restructuring Medicare is necessary to contain health care costs and is preferable to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was created under the federal health reform law to find ways to reduce Medicare spending (Wall Street Journal, 3/29).
House Rejects Conservative Budget Proposal
Meanwhile, the House on Thursday voted 136-285 to reject the Republican Study Committee's budget proposal, which would have capped government spending at $931 billion through 2017, Roll Call reports (Newhauser, Roll Call, 3/29).
RSC's plan would have repealed the federal health reform law and offered the same Medicare reform plan as Ryan's proposal. The plan also would have altered Medicaid by setting spending at pre-recession levels when the national unemployment rate falls under 6.5% (California Healthline, 3/29).
White House Condemns Ryan Budget
After Thursday's votes, White House press secretary Jay Carney in a statement accused the Ryan budget of being "another example of the Republican establishment grasping onto the same failed economic policies," USA Today reports (Jackson, USA Today, 3/29).
"House Republicans today banded together to shower millionaires and billionaires with a massive tax cut paid for by ending Medicare as we know it and making extremely deep cuts to critical programs needed to create jobs and strengthen the middle class," Carney said (Sink, "Blog Briefing Room," The Hill, 3/29).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.