The Week: Most Recent Congress:Medicare Under Fire recent posts.en-usTue, 07 Jun 2011 11:50:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Congress:Medicare Under Fire from THE WEEKTue, 07 Jun 2011 11:50:00 -0400Is it fair to call Paul Ryan's Medicare plan 'Vouchercare'?<img src="" /></P><p>Republicans get "huffy" when you call Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) controversial Medicare plan a voucher scheme, says Paul Krugman in <em>The New York Times</em>. But pointing out that they are trying to replace Medicare with "an entirely different program &mdash; call it Vouchercare" &mdash; isn't "demagoguery, it's just pointing out the truth." Is that a fair characterization of the GOP-backed Medicare plan?</p><p><strong>Of course "Vouchercare" is fair game:</strong> Liberals say some dumb things about Ryan's plan, but it's Ryan who's being "deeply disingenuous" in insisting that his plan offers "premium support," not "vouchers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 07 Jun 2011 11:50:00 -0400Scott Brown rips the GOP's Medicare plan: Proof it's 'toxic'?<img src="" /></P><p>Sen. Scott Brown &mdash; a Republican from deep-blue Massachusetts &mdash; was once considered a crucial backer of Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial plan to transform Medicare into a voucher system. Now, in an op-ed for&nbsp;<em>Politico</em>, Brown says he won't vote for the proposal after all. Echoing Democratic objections, Brown says rising costs would ultimately leave some elderly Americans unable to pay their health care bills. A special congressional election Tuesday in upstate New York has also become a Medicare proxy war, with the issue appearing to give the Democrat there a boost. How bad is this...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 24 May 2011 11:19:00 -0400The 'disturbing' grandma-killing Medicare ad<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:</strong> Politicos were already sniping over a Republican proposal to makeover Medicare, but a "disturbing ad" by the liberal Agenda Project has further soured the rhetoric. (Watch the video below.) The&nbsp;spot shows a man in a suit &mdash; presumably House budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) &mdash; pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair through a wooded park. Birds chirp. "America the Beautiful" trills in the background. The woman smiles. The ad notes that Medicare provides health insurance for 46 million Americans, half of whom live on less than $28,000 a year, and that a Republican...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 20 May 2011 11:05:00 -0400Is the GOP's Medicare-slashing plan dead?<img src="" /></P><p>Republicans seem to be backing away from Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) much-debated plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system. Senate Republicans are introducing their own budget plan, sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), that doesn't touch Medicare (although it would still turn Medicaid into a state block grant program), and even House GOP leaders are distancing themselves from Ryan's bold Medicare proposal. Is this a short-term tactical retreat, or a burial?</p><p><strong>Ryan's plan is dead:</strong> When House Republicans made the politically disastrous decision to back Ryan's plan, says Steve Benen at <em>Washington...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 11 May 2011 10:32:00 -0400Could Medicare really destroy America?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video: </strong>Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) represents a retiree-heavy district in South Florida, so it's not surprising that in public meetings this week he was asked about his support for a bill that would turn Medicare into a voucher system. West, a Tea Party favorite, didn't shy away with his answer: "I gotta tell you something: If you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye." (See video below.) Any truth there?<br /><strong>The reaction:</strong> Medicare is immensely popular in his district, so it's curious politics to accuse your constituents of "contributing to the country...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 29 Apr 2011 10:31:00 -0400Will Paul Ryan's budget cost the GOP the senior vote?<img src="" /></P><p>Voters 65 and older didn't show much love for President Obama in 2008, and "that skepticism, bordering on hostility, has carried over to his presidency," say Glenn Thrush and Abby Phillip in <em>Politico</em>. Still, Obama's political team thinks Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) controversial plan to shrink the deficit, in large part by turning Medicare into a voucher system, might disgruntle seniors and leave them more open to the Dems in 2012. Not so fast: In a new Gallup poll, seniors back Ryan's budget plan over Obama's, 48 percent to 42 percent &mdash; Ryan's best number in any age group. What's going on...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 28 Apr 2011 10:58:00 -0400Can the GOP convince its base to back Medicare cuts?<img src="" /></P><p>The centerpiece of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan to slash the federal deficit is turning Medicare into a voucher system. It turns out, that isn't very popular. In a new McClatchy-Marist poll, 80 percent of voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid, including 73 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Tea Party supporters. In a new&nbsp;<em>Washington Post</em> poll, 54 percent of Republicans also backed <em>raising</em> taxes on the wealthy (Ryan's plan would slash those taxes). Can Republicans win over their own base on this unpopular, entitlement-slashing deficit strategy? &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Yes, Republican voters just...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 22 Apr 2011 07:10:00 -0400How Ryan set up Obama's comeback<img src="" /></P><p>&ldquo;Whatever you do, don&rsquo;t serve to his backhand.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t be nervous. I have the new Ryan serve. It&rsquo;s bold!&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;Trust me on this. Don&rsquo;t serve to his backhand.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;<br />Thomp. Wham.<br />&nbsp;<br />Here&rsquo;s a basic fact of American politics: The American people like Medicare. They are not so enthusiastic about tax cuts for the rich.<br />&nbsp;<br />Those of us on the political right have different preferences. We believe that low rates for high earners accelerate economic growth. We believe that the cost of Medicare must be restrained. And I think we have...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-frum" ><span class="byline">David Frum</span></a>Wed, 13 Apr 2011 16:10:00 -0400Would Paul Ryan's budget abolish Medicare?<img src="" /></P><p>House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a 2012 budget proposal promising $6.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, through spending cuts and savings on government health plans for the elderly and the poor. Liberals are enraged over the plan &mdash; crafted by GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) &mdash; because they say it won't merely trim Medicare and Medicaid, but effectively destroy them. Is Ryan trying to save Medicare, or kill it?<br /><br /><strong>The GOP wants to dismantle Medicare entirely</strong>: Ryan would essentially eliminate Medicare by "privatizing and voucherizing" it, says Paul Krugman at <em>The New...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 05 Apr 2011 13:03:00 -0400