112th Congress, Vote 151; House of Representatives #112
Ryan Budget Bill 2012
Official Title: Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2013 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2014 through 2022.
HConRes 34: Ryan budget bill
Passed by House 228-191, March 29, 2012.
The Senate has refused to consider the bill.
Synopsis: In the House this legislation was introduced by House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, and passed 228-191. Only 10 GOP lawmakers defected, and not one Democrat backed the measure.
The passage of Ryan's budget blueprint represented a significant political victory for House GOP leaders. But this year's vote on Ryan's budget passed by a narrower margin than in 2011, when his very similar proposal was approved 235-193. Last year, just four Republicans bucked the party.
In the Senate, the chamber's leaders once again turned their backs on Ryan's plan. In a Senate controlled by Democrats, many felt that discussion on the floor would lead only to another partisan pre-election brawl.
This bill followed the legislation that Ryan had proposed last year, calling for converting much of Medicare to a voucher system, with most seniors receiving Medicare, not from the government, but from private sector insurers. Beginning in 2023, seniors who are now under 55 would be given vouchers so that they could buy Medicare from private-sector plans.
Ryan's 2013 budget differed from last year's in that:
- Seniors would be guaranteed a voucher equal to the cost of the second cheapest plan in their region;
- Seniors would be able to use the voucher to buy traditional Medicare – though if it cost more than that second-cheapest private plan, they would have to pay more. Meanwhile, Ryan's 2012 proposal – like his 2011 bill – called for slowly raising the age when future seniors would become eligible for Medicare from 65 to 67.
- Finally, Ryan's plan for 2013 would slash the federal government's payments to Medicaid.
Why supporters pushed for this bill
- Lawmakers who voted for Ryan's budget argued that it would reduce the deficit.
- Supporters believe that if seniors receive Medicare through private insurance plans rather than the government, Medicare will cost less. They argue that the private sector is always more efficient than the government.
Why opponents tried to stop the bill
- Recent efforts to outsource Medicare to the private sector (Medicare + Choice and Medicare Advantage) have failed to reduce costs – and have not lifted quality.
- Critics estimate that Ryan's Medicaid cuts would leave 14 million to 27 million Americans uninsured.
- Those who voted against the bill argued that because it slashed taxes for high income Americans, while reducing funding for Medicaid and Medicare, it would redistribute income from the bottom of the income ladder to the top.
|03/29/2012||Status: House passed|
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