What editorial writers are saying about the GOP shift on Medicare

Some Republican leaders are backing off a House-approved plan that would have turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program.

Posted May 23, 2011.

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Editorial writers point to the revamping of the program as being unpopular among constituents. Some editorials say lawmakers need to be more focused on solutions than politics.

A bleak vision on Medicare: GOPers backing away from idea

Many of [Rep. Mike] Rogers' GOP colleagues have endured complaints from constituents who value Medicare and don't wish to see it reshaped into something less valuable. Town hall meetings have not been friendly to some who approved of [Rep. Paul] Ryan's plan. Now comes word that House Republican leaders are going to gingerly back away from Medicare privatization. The Anniston (Ala.) Star, May 9

Deja vu for Medicare?

Republicans have quietly set aside the part of House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's budget plan that would transform Medicare by 2022. They've concluded that the Senate, with its Democratic majority, would never approve a shift to a voucher-style system, under which people older than 65 would shop for private health insurance with the aid of a government subsidy. During the spring recess they also heard a loud hands-off-Medicare message from constituents. The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard, May 10

GOP lawmakers backing off bold Medicare plan

No one disputes that the only way that government spending can be reasonably pared down is by reforming entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. A serious discussion will never happen as long as lawmakers -- Republicans and Democrats -- are more concerned about the next election. Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, May 8

On Medicare, reverting to a well-worn strategy

Democrats have effectively scared seniors as a political tactic for many years. Republicans turned the tables in 2010, using the Medicare scare tactic against Democrats. Now Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wis.) has given President Obama and his party a chance to reclaim the low ground, and they haven't hesitated. The Washington Post, May 8

Medicare needs civil, rational debate

In some ways, the conversation around President Obama's health care reform law was an object lesson in the way political conversations about Medicare devolve into scare-mongering. Discussion of Ryan's budget could devolve in the same way. And that's unfortunate, because no matter where you fall on these issues, we do need to have a conversation about how to control Medicare costs while also continuing to provide seniors with services. Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald, May 1

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