GOP's budget plan would end Medicare in 2021

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Budget Committee on Tuesday offered a plan to slash government spending by about $6 trillion over 10 years while overhauling medical programs for the elderly and poor.

The proposals from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would reverse retirement policies that became staples of life with in the mid 1960s.

The Ryan plan would:

• Eliminate $6.2 trillion in government spending compared with President Barack Obama's 10-year budget blueprint.

• Reduce federal deficits by $4.4 trillion compared with the president's budget over 10 years.

• Eliminate what it calls $800 billion in taxes called for under the 2010 health care overhaul, and leave in place $1.5 trillion in Bush-era tax cuts over 10 years.

• Set the top individual and corporate tax rate at 25 percent while promising to end unspecified loopholes and popular deductions.

• End Medicare in 2021, replacing it with "premium support" programs for recipients.

• Replace the Medicaid system with block grants to states.

• Freeze most government spending at below-2008 levels.

• Exempt the Pentagon from deep spending cuts.

Florida reaction

Florida Republicans reacted favorably to the Medicaid block grant proposal.

"I welcome Congressman Ryan's efforts to allow states to manage their individual Medicaid programs," Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos said.

In Florida, the House has passed and the Senate is considering an overhaul of the Medicaid system that would put patients in private HMOs and other managed care organizations. That plan, if passed and signed by Gov. Rick Scott as expected, would need federal approval to go forward.

Times staff writer Becky Bowers contributed to this report.

GOP's budget plan would end Medicare in 2021 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:38pm]

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