KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

With 2012 Budget Plan, Republicans Hope To Transform Government’s Role

The budget blueprint would begin to shift the federal government into a dramatically smaller entity, diminishing its role in health care and other areas.

The Washington Post: Republicans Embrace Rep. Ryan's Government Budget Plan For 2012
House Republicans announced a far-reaching vision for a leaner federal government on Tuesday, presenting a 2012 budget blueprint that would privatize Medicare for future retirees, cut spending on Medicaid and other domestic programs, and offer sharply lower tax rates to corporations and the wealthy (Montgomery and Rucker, 4/5).

The Wall Street Journal: Proposal Transforms Role Of Government
House Republicans laid out a blueprint for a dramatically smaller federal government Tuesday, diminishing Washington's role in health care and other areas in a budget they said would spend $6.2 trillion less over 10 years than what President Barack Obama has proposed (Weisman, 4/6).

Los Angeles Times: GOP Bets Voters Will Choose Fiscal Well-Being Over Health Care Safety Net
The largest savings in their plan would come from slashing popular programs that cover about 100 million Americans. The GOP proposal would phase out direct payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare, scale back the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, and throw out government insurance subsidies that the new health care law is to make available to millions of Americans starting in 2014. That would force seniors to pay more for their health care and would likely make states cut back their Medicaid programs, the Congressional Budget Office concluded (Levey and Hennessey, 4/5).

McClatchy: Ryan Gets Props For Bold Plan, Raps For One-Sided Focus
Budget experts gave high marks for courage and low marks for the details in a bold Republican plan offered Tuesday to slash government spending by about $6 trillion over 10 years while overhauling costly medical programs for the elderly and poor. The proposals from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Budget Committee, would reverse retirement policies that became staples of American life with President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs of the mid-1960s (Hall, 4/5).

The Fiscal Times: Ryan Budget Plan Slashes Spending, Lowers Taxes
Overhauling the way America supports Medicare and Medicaid is key to the long-term budget cuts in the Ryan plan. ... The CBO analysis of the Ryan proposal showed that federal contributions to Medicare, Medicaid and the state Children's Health Insurance Program would fall from 10 percent of GDP today to 6 percent in 2030 and 5 percent in 2050. Under President Obama's health care reform law, which expands government support for the uninsured, federal spending on health is projected to reach 15 percent of GDP by 2031, according to CBO (Goozner, 4/5).

PBS NewsHour: Rep. Ryan Risks Political Backlash With GOP Budget Rollout
As Congress wrangles over relatively minuscule reductions in non-defense discretionary spending for the remainder of the fiscal year (more on that below), Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is taking the long view Tuesday as he rolls out the House Republican budget for FY 2012 and puts a marker down on major reforms to Medicaid and Medicare in an effort to rein in the long-term drivers of the country's debt and deficit (4/5).

Fox News: Paul Ryan Vs. 'Obamacare'
Two House committees are working on legislation to strike down what Ryan and many others derisively call "Obamacare." His budget outline calls for significant changes to the public health system but leaves the wholesale attack on the president's reforms to the Commerce and Ways and Means Committees. Ryan's plan blasts the 2012 budget offered earlier this year by the White House. He says it will accelerate the debt crisis, double the nation's debt and permanently enlarge the size of government. "It offers no reforms to save government health and retirement programs," Ryan decried (Ross, 4/5).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill – House Republicans' Budget Plan: What It Means, What's Next
KHN's Mary Agnes Carey talks with CQ HealthBeat's Rebecca Adams about the fiscal 2012 budget plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. It would dramatically change Medicaid and Medicare (4/5). Read the transcript or watch the video.

Kaiser Health News: CBO Outlines 'Key Features' Of Ryan Budget Proposal: 'Substantial' Changes To Medicare, Medicaid
Kaiser Health News provides excerpts of the  Congressional Budget Office report, focusing on the Ryan proposal's key features, including how it would change Medicare, Medicaid and the health law. KHN also links to the full report.

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