For all the conservatives who’ve attacked the supposed “death panels” contained within Democratic health care reform efforts, let’s not forget that it was a Republican – Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville – who wants to kill Medicare, leaving folks who would receive Medicare to fend for themselves when it comes to finding health care they could afford on their newly created subsidy (which I’m willing to bet wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of health care premiums):
At the same time, the debate also exposed political weaknesses in his House GOP rivals. Republicans in the House had even more defections on their alternative budget, losing 37 of the chamber’s more moderate members in a 293-137 tally that rejected cuts to Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled.
What is more, GOP leaders are clearly nervous that votes in favor of the GOP alternative have exposed their members to political danger.
The plan, drafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, top Republican on the House Budget Committee, called for eventually replacing the traditional Medicare program with subsidies to help retirees enroll in private health care plans. Current beneficiaries would keep their coverage and those 55 and older also would go into the current system.
Rep. Ryan’s amendment received the support of 137 of his fellow House Republicans, while receiving no support from House Democrats.
Maybe it’s just me, but forcing seniors to fend for themselves when it comes to finding health insurance coverage seems a little heartless, especially given the fact that most of those folks paid into the system Rep. Ryan’s amendment would have shut them out of.
H/T to Paul Soglin.