Senate Democrats: If the GOP insists on Medicare privatization, their budget is dead

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Senate Democrats: If the GOP insists on Medicare privatization, their budget is dead

Plain Dealer – Lest there be any doubt, Senate Democrats this afternoon are expected to tell the White House that they’ll stand firm against a Republican House plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher program for future retirees.

It’s another way of saying: If budget-cutting talks starting today with both parties and the White House fail to strip out the Medicare provision, the Senate won’t pass the GOP budget.

The letter, circulated by Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, is expected to have signatures of nearly all if not every one of the Senate’s 53 Democrats.

The House budget, drafted by Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, called for turning Medicare into a voucher program for future retirees. They could use vouchers to buy their own private medical insurance, a way to cut government costs and reduce the public’s reliance on government entitlements.

Democrats said the vouchers would be inadequate to cover the cost of private or group policies. This could force future retirees to pay thousands of their own dollars for medical coverage, Democrats said.

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