House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released his 2012 proposal Tuesday calling for more than $4 trillion in spending cuts over the decade, including almost $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and an overhaul of the traditional Medicare program.
The proposal would cap spending on Medicaid and turn it into a block grant program in which the amount of money each state receives would be indexed for inflation and for population growth, forcing states to design their own insurance plans.
Ryan’s plan would also convert Medicare into what he calls a “premium support” voucher program, but wouldn’t take effect until 2022, allowing current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement to remain in the current system. For those currently under 55, they would be given a choice of approved private health insurance plans and receive subsidies once eligible.
“The Chairman's proposal, rather than tackling skyrocketing health care costs, would simply shift these costs onto the backs of people in Medicare,” AARP said in a statement. “It would undermine Medicare's promise of secure health coverage—a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.”
Ryan’s budget: ‘The Path to Prosperity’ (PDF format)