Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan is Back With Medicare Reform Plan

At Los Angeles Times, "Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, with Medicare changes, is back":

For a moment last year, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's star shone brightly as he unveiled his party's bold deficit-whacking budget proposal — that is, until seniors rebelled over his plan to dramatically change Medicare.

The backlash was swift and decisive. Democrats attacked the GOP, saying the plan would destroy the Medicare safety net, and the earnest Wisconsin wunderkind slid from the spotlight. When he walked the halls of the Capitol, he popped in his iPod earbuds, tuning out the noise.

Now Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is returning to center stage as the GOP doubles down on his conservative budget priorities — including tax cuts for the wealthy and a new version of his plan for major changes in Medicare.

With an edgy new campaign-style video and a flurry of Ryan appearances timed with his upcoming budget release, Republicans believe theirs is a winning strategy: one that will showcase the GOP as willing to make tough choices to reduce federal deficits and present voters with a contrast to President Obama. Democrats believe just as strongly that the Ryan strategy will be a winner for them.

A Medicare overhaul, in particular, is a risky move in an election year when the GOP is trying to topple Obama, defend its House majority and win the Senate. Ryan won plaudits from some budget hawks and think tanks for being willing to tackle the difficult politics of Medicare cuts. But average voters overwhelmingly support keeping Medicare as is. They also favor Obama's approach of taxing wealthy Americans more heavily to bring budgets into balance, rather than offer more tax cuts, polls show...
Video c/o Legal Insurrection.