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Ryan budget backs ending healthcare reform

March 11, 2013 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

http://cdn.ph.upi.com/sv/em/upi/UPI-82091362987000/2013/1/eb890a826b20de5a90f35868cd0281e1/Ryan-budget-backs-ending-healthcare-reform.jpg
WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says his budget blueprint will promote repealing President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

"Yes, our budget does promote repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a better system," the Wisconsin Republican said on "Fox News Sunday," using the GOP term for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Earlier Republican efforts in the House to repeal Obama's healthcare law failed, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality last June.

One part of Ryan's plan, expected to be unveiled Tuesday, is to turn Medicare from a one-size-fits-all plan to one that helps subsidize insurance-policy purchases "based on who you are -- total subsidy for the poor and the sick, less of a subsidy for wealthy seniors," Ryan told the Fox program.

The subsidy would let future retirees buy private health insurance as an alternative.

Another part of his plan is to turn Medicaid, which covers healthcare for the poor, into a block-grant program that would let states craft their own programs.

Ryan, 43, made these points with former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney when they campaigned ahead of the November election they lost to Obama.

Ryan told Fox other parts of his budget plan include overhauling the tax code to lower rates and ensuring no Pentagon cuts -- all with the goal of erasing the annual federal deficit in 10 years.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., is expected to propose the Senate's budget blueprint Wednesday.

Her plan is expected to increase taxes on upper-income households and corporations and make modest spending cuts to domestic programs, The Wall Street Journal said.

Murray blasted Ryan's budget in a memo to Senate Democrats that she sent before Ryan even wrote it, the Journal said.

"We are likely headed toward another House Republican budget that balances on the backs of the middle class and most vulnerable," she wrote.

Ryan told reporters, "I've read her memos, and I have yet to find one I agree with."

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