House Republicans Talk About Strategies for Overhauling Medicare
During an annual retreat in Baltimore, House Republicans outlined their 2012 agenda and pledged to focus on policy issues, including overhauling the Medicare program, CQ Today reports (Cohen, CQ Today, 1/20).
House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Medicare reform would remain a top priority in 2012. "Our point is -- fix it now, do it on our terms," he said, noting that the GOP would probably pursue a plan that would offer subsidies for beneficiaries to purchase insurance coverage.
Though the plan is similar to the controversial Medicare overhaul Ryan proposed in last year's House budget plan, he said the reforms have become "more politically palatable."
"There is emerging bipartisan consensus going forward about how to fix Medicare, but I can't tell you what our budget is going to because we haven't written it yet," Ryan said, adding, "We are not backing off on the kinds of reforms we've advocated" (Steinhauer, New York Times, 1/20).
Boehner Confirms GOP Plans To Address Entitlement Spending, Plan Could Be Bipartisan
On Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed that the GOP would pursue a bipartisan Medicare proposal in hopes of deflecting attacks by congressional Democrats, Politico reports (Raju, Politico, 1/22).
When asked whether the proposal would resemble Ryan's plan, he said the GOP would consider "other ideas," including a bipartisan proposal by Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). "The idea here is that we've got to make changes to Medicare, otherwise it will not be there for seniors who count on it," he said (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 1/22).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.