In the next couple of days Congress will finally vote on a budget to fund the federal government for the rest of this year. But the work is only just beginning. Before the President’s signature is dry on that legislation, Congress will begin hashing out the budget for 2012. House Budget Commitee Chairman Paul Ryan (R- Wisc.) recently unveiled the GOP plan for 2012, which calls for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, along with a total overhaul of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Under the plan, the federal government would convert its share of Medicaid funding into block grants for the states. As for Medicare, the program would stay the same for current retirees and those nearing retirement age. However, for everyone who is age 54 and younger today, the plan calls for privatizing the program. Republicans are touting the plan as responsible budgeting, but many Democrats say it will destroy social safety net programs.
Hear more about the brewing budget fight, physician pay, and malpractice reform legislation in this week’s Policy & Practice Podcast. Take a listen:
— Mary Ellen Schneider (on Twitter @MaryEllenNY)