Senate Democrats

No Retreat For House GOP On Medicare

After Day Of Confused Messaging, House GOP Leaders Re- Commit To Plan To End Medicare As We Know It

Schumer: GOP Tried To Throw Medicare Privatization Plan Overboard But It Is An Anchor Still Tied Around Their Ankles

WASHINGTON, DC—Earlier this week, there were reports that House Republicans might remove their plan to end Medicare from their budget proposal. But Republicans in both the House and Senate quickly defended the original plan, which would end Medicare as we know it and double out-of-pocket costs for millions of seniors.

“House Republicans tried throwing their Medicare plan overboard, but it is still an anchor tied around their ankles. They may not want to embrace the plan anymore, but they still own it,” U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said.

Below is a round-up of top Republicans who raced yesterday to double down in support of their plan to privatize Medicare.

Speaker Boehner: Plan to End Medicare “Absolutely Not” Off the Table.Speaker John Boehner tweeted, “Saving Medicare off the table? Absolutely not.” [Boehner Tweet, 5/5/11]

Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Position “Is the Ryan Budget, Period.” Including Plan to End Medicare. “Eric made very clear that our position is the Ryan budget which — as you know — assumes a debt limit increase and includes Medicare, Medicaid and $715 billion in mandatory savings,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring told POLITICO. “Whether the Democrats will agree to the proposals we’ve outlined is yet to be seen, but that is our starting point so we don’t continue to kick the can down the road and make real cuts and real reforms this year.” “To be clear, the Republican position is the Ryan budget, period,” spokeswoman Laena Fallon said in an email to reporters. [Politico, 5/4/11; The Hill, 5/5/11]

Rep. Joe Walsh: “I Would Be Very Disappointed If We Didn’t Follow Through” With Plan to End Medicare. “I would be very disappointed if we didn’t follow through,” said Representative Joe Walsh. “We have spent, gosh, a month or two now trying to educate the American people to a pretty good reception. I appreciate the chairman’s notion, but I would continue to respectfully challenge him to get this thing through committee.” [New York Times, 5/6/11]

Sen. Rob Portman: “It’s Not a Wise Strategy to Be Taking Things Off the Table.” “It’s not a wise strategy to be taking things off the table today before we’ve begun any discussion to find consensus. I would hope that instead of talking about what’s not on the table we’d be talking about how to find consensus,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the George W. Bush administration, told reporters Thursday. [Washington Post, 5/5/11]

Sen. Ron Johnson “Disappointed”If Plan to End Medicare Isn’t in GOP Budget. After it was reported that Medicare would be removed from the Republican plan, Sen. Ron Johnson said he was “disappointed” by the report. [Financial Times, 5/6/11]

Rep. Jeff Flake: “Surprised”to Hear Rumors of GOP Pulling Back on Medicare. “I don’t know how you can continue to exclude entitlement spending,” said Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), who said he was “surprised to hear the talk of pulling back” GOP expectations. [Wall Street Journal, 5/6/11]