Skip to comments.GOP ready to forget Romney and embrace Rep. Ryan on Medicare
Posted on 12/02/2012 2:09:50 PM PST by Libloather
GOP ready to forget Romney and embrace Rep. Ryan on Medicare
By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - 12/02/12 02:45 PM ET
Mitt Romneys Medicare budget might be fading away just as quickly as Romney himself.
During the campaign, candidate Romney repeatedly hammered President Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare as part of his signature healthcare law. Romney pledged to repeal those cuts in a break from his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, had preserved Obamas Medicare cuts in two consecutive budget proposals that repealed the rest of the Affordable Care Act. Ryan is now back at work crafting his next budget, and Republicans on his committee say the $716 billion in Medicare cuts will likely survive.
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) said the $716 billion cut is part of the committees over-arching plan to save and reform Medicare. He said he doesnt expect Ryan to back away from any part of that goal just because Romney was on a different page.
Something could have happened during that experience at the top of the ticket where he said, Golly, I am now thinking of some new and different ways to crack this same nut. I would certainly welcome all of those new ideas, but again, this is something we've been working very hard at. This is a sound proposal, Woodall said.
Woodall said its hard to predict the specifics of next years budget outline because so much could change during negotiations over the looming fiscal cliff. But he praised Ryans leadership in advancing a plan for Medicare and said he doesnt expect the committee to dodge that effort.
I don't think you can offer a serious budget without trying to save the Medicare program for another generation and two and three, Woodall said. So yes, Paul Ryan is a serious chairman, we think we're a serious committee. I would not imagine us doing anything that dodges that responsibility.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a strongly conservative doctor who had Ryans backing in a failed leadership bid, also said the House GOP has laid a solid foundation for Medicare reform. Ryans budget restructured Obamas Medicare cuts to strengthen the program, he said.
My preference is our budget, Price said when asked whether he supports Romneys approach to the Medicare cuts or Ryans.
Attacking Obama over the $716 billion in Medicare cuts was at times a difficult needle for the Romney campaign to thread, largely because the savings were the only part of ObamaCare that Ryan didnt want to repeal. Former President Bill Clinton noted the contradiction at the Democratic convention, saying it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.
Before joining the campaign, Ryan answered that charge by saying Medicare did need to be cut, but the savings should be reinvested in Medicare rather than used to pay for the new benefits in Obamas healthcare law. The specific reductions werent the problem, Ryan said it was how Obama used them.
Price echoed that criticism last week, saying Ryans budget moved Obamas Medicare savings so that they wouldnt be spent on new programs.
In order to make it so that those bad things dont happen, youve got to go get those cuts. So the line in the budget is, youve got to go get those cuts and move them, Price said.
But Romney went further than Ryan, saying he would repeal the Medicare cuts and restore the $716 billion in spending a move that would have shortened Medicares lifespan, not lengthened it, as Romney suggested.
It was a helpful political tactic, but substantively, it was a pledge to raise entitlement spending by $716 billion from a candidate who promised to cut entitlements, and picked the entitlement-slashing Ryan as his running mate.
Romneys rhetoric rankled some conservatives and supporters of Ryans more dramatic Medicare overhaul, who feared Romney was making it harder to make badly needed spending cuts in the future.
When pressed about their differing positions during the campaign, Romney and Ryan simply said that because Romney was at the top of the ticket, his approach to Medicare would carry the day.
Now, though, Republicans are largely casting off Romney as a failed candidate with no real claim to the partys political or intellectual future, while Ryan is still seen as a political star who could run again for national office. And among his fellow Republicans, Ryans approach to Medicare is also back on top.
What I think is we're going to be fairly consistent on our budget, said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), another Budget Committee member. What we tried to lay out in Budget, I don't think is unrealistic
What we build on comes on the foundation we've already laid.
Year four of no budget coming up.
He did his job for the elites. Now the useful idiot can move on & visit Big Ears in the big house.
Pity they didn’t think that way BEFORE they nominated that feckless moron.
Someday, someone will have to try and explain, how a white version of Obama, became the GOP presidential nominee.
GOOD! Ryan has twice the smarts and four times the passion as Mittens.
Romney signs are still up around here. I’ve never seen Republicans leave them out to droop and weather like that before.
The only reason anybody gave a crap about Romney was because he was “electable”.
Since that’s dead, do is he. Just like Fredo.
What’s interesting about this report from The Hill is this;
“Tom Price had Ryans backing for a leadership role” paraphrased...Never heard anything about this from any of the “talkies” who usually cover this stuff.