The GOP plan released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would, if enacted into law, wrestle the deficit to a manageable size in short order, but only by cutting Medicaid, food stamps, PellGrants and a host of other programs that Obama has promised to protect.
To deal with the influx of retiring Baby Boomers, the GOP budget reprises a controversial approach to overhauling Medicare that would switch the program - for those under 55 today - from a traditional "fee for service" framework in which the government pays doctor and hospital bills to a voucherlike "premium support" approach in which the government subsidizes purchases of health insurance.
Republicans say the new approach forces competition upon a wasteful health care system, lowering cost increases and giving senior more options. But Democratic opponents of the idea say the new system - designed by Ryan and liberal Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon - cuts costs too steeply and would provide the elderly with a steadily shrinking menu of options and higher out-of-pocket costs. Full Post