It’s not Groundhog Day but it sure feels like it…
Key House Republican leader – and former Vice Presidential candidate – Rep. Paul Ryan is back in the spotlight with the latest version of the GOP-Ryan budget on steroids and his plan to end Medicare as we know it for American seniors.
From Los Angeles Times:
Fired up as once-unimaginable spending cuts start to slice the federal budget, Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaign — resurrecting the party’s cost-cutting plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future seniors…
But [Rep. Paul Ryan’s] effort has run afoul of the GOP vow not to change Medicare — the federal healthcare program for seniors and the disabled — for those now 55 or older.
Medicare eligibility currently begins at age 65. Ryan’s approach would transform the benefits program into one that would provide a fixed amount of money in a voucher that future seniors could apply to the cost of buying private health insurance or to buying coverage through traditional Medicare.
Throughout last year’s presidential campaign, the GOP promised not to change Medicare for today’s seniors — only the next generation. But Republicans familiar with the number-crunching in Ryan’s budget committee say balancing the budget may not be possible unless the changes start for those who are now 56 and younger…
But a new budget isn’t all he’s talking about. Ryan is sounding off on the sequester saying “we’re not talking about are deep cuts” and the pain felt by American families as a result of the sequester cuts is “overstated.”
Hmmmm. Here are just a few recent headlines about the impact of sequester on Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin:
The Business Journal of Milwaukee – Sequestration could hit 15,000 Wisconsin jobs: Hospital association
Wisconsin Public Radio – Wisconsin Companies Will Feel Effects Of Federal Sequester
WXOW News 19 – Fort McCoy Braces for Sequestration
Fond du Lac Reporter – Pending cuts hit close to home for local family
And in a moment rich with irony – Rep. Ryan, a leader in the GOP Do Nothing Congress, criticized the President as “not as serious about legislating” just before saying House Republicans will continue to obstruct any and all plans to close tax loopholes.
Business as usual for the GOP.