Ryan: New GOP budget to be released in March will build off previous year, call for same Medicare reforms
Republicans are going to work off the budget the House GOP passed last year to come up with its proposals for the next fiscal year budget, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Sunday, adding that the GOP is "not backing off of any of our ideas, any of our solutions."
Ryan, R-Wis., speaking on "Fox News Sunday," said the budget isn't written yet, and won't be ready until March, when bean counters have the "base line," or current budget figures used as the template for budgeting.
"I and my members of the Budget Committee will write this budget in March and then we're going to bring it to the floor. We think we owe the country actual solutions based upon our founding principles to get this country on the right track," Ryan said.
The budget passed by the GOP last year called for $5.8 trillion in spending cuts by 2021, eliminating $800 billion in tax increases by repealing President Obama's health care plan, eliminating deductions on tax returns while setting a top tax rate both for individuals and businesses of 25 percent and reforming entitlements like Medicare. It passed the GOP-led House, but died in the Democratic-led Senate.
The Medicare reform put forth by Republicans proposes a voucher system called "premium support" that would give seniors money to go buy private health insurance. Democrats railed against it last year, saying the average cost would mean seniors are paying $6,000 more per year for health care.
Ryan said the plan doesn't affect anyone currently 55 or older, but Americans are going to have to come to grips with the fact that Medicare will be broke in a decade.
"The Congressional Budget Office also says Medicare is going bankrupt in 2021. The trustees at Medicare say that there's $37 trillion unfunded liability. If you take a look at our reforms, which don't change any Medicare benefits for a person 55 or above, and says for people 54 and below, when they'll retire, they'll have a list of guaranteed coverage options over by Medicare just like we do it in Congress and federal employees have, and we're not going to subsidize the wealthy as much as everybody else. And we're going to subsidize the poor even more. That saves Medicare. That fixes Medicare," he said.
Ryan added that by comparison, under the president's health care law, 15 people were appointed to an Independent Payment Advisory Board whose purpose is "to put price controls and therefore rationing on Medicare."
"So, the president's law takes half a trillion dollars out of Medicare to spend on Obamacare and now he's putting this new rationing board in place, which will lead to denied care to current seniors. So, if you want to compare plans, our plan to save and shrink the program, not change benefits for anybody 55 and above, and the president's plan to start rationing current seniors while still allowing the program going to bankruptcy, I'm happy to take that debate," he said.