Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GOP Unveils Plan to Cut Medicare,

Medicaid, Food Stamps and More !

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, unveiled his latest plan to slash spending Tuesday, returning to his controversial proposal to cut Medicare in part by privatizing the system that provides health care to the elderly.

His budget plan -- which Congress will not enact, but which offers an election-year blueprint for the GOP to tout as evidence of fiscal responsibility -- would set just two income tax rates of 10 percent and 25 percent and a corporate rate of 25 percent, while eliminating many deductions and loopholes. Ryan promised the tax reforms would be "revenue neutral."

But the flash point is likely to be the Wisconsin lawmaker's proposal to begin offering retirees the option of switching to a privatized Medicare system in which beneficiaries receive "premium support" from the government permitting them to buy insurance on the open market. Democrats hammered that proposal last year as ending Medicare as we know it. Ryan cast it as saving the program and controlling costs through competition.

"We propose to save and strengthen Medicare by taking the power away from bureaucrats," said Ryan as he rolled out his proposal Tuesday on Capitol Hill. "We believe competition and choice should be the way forward."

Ryan's budget would cut Medicare by $205 billion compared to President Barack Obama's budget, according to the documents he handed out.

Democrats pounced.

"A Republican budget to end Medicare is a Republican budget to end Medicare, no matter what you call it," said Eddie Vale, a spokesman with the Democrat-aligned Protect Your Care. "Paul Ryan can claim a tweak here or a tweak there from his last budget that ended Medicare. He can try to latch onto a new co-sponsor. But no window dressing can change the fact that, at its heart, his budget is a plan to end Medicare by ending the way the program has worked successfully for decades and throwing seniors out onto the mercy of the private insurance companies."

Also likely to generate opposition are plans to to dramatically cut other safety net programs, including food stamps and Medicaid, both of which would be converted to block grant programs that would be run at the discretion of individual states. Medicaid would lose $770 billion compared to Obama's budget, according to Ryan's documents. (read rest of article)

The GOP MUST Be Stopped...


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