The budget proposal created by Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which includes an overhaul of Medicare, has been rejected by the United States Senate.
On May 25, every Democrat in the chamber and five Republicans struck down Ryan’s budget for fiscal year 2012, including its provision to replace the current Medicare system with a voucher program. According to media reports, Democrats forced the vote to make GOP lawmakers go on the record about their support for the controversial measure.
Republicans who opposed Ryan’s proposal included Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).
Under Ryan’s proposal, which is titled The Path to Prosperity, the Federal government would no longer directly pay for healthcare for senior citizens enrolled in Medicare. It would impact Americans turning 65 years old starting in 2022.
Ryan’s budget, which passed the House last month, is expected to be a widely debated topic heading into the 2012 election season. Representative Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), who supports the Path to Prosperity while representing one of the oldest populations of all the U.S. districts, said that the jousting over the entitlement program will “be an epic battle in politicking,” Bloomberg reported.
According to Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Democrats have argued that the plan would end “Medicare as we know it.”
“That’s true, we are ending Medicare as you know it,” Simpson told the media outlet. “We are trying to take it from insolvent to solvent because if it stays where it is, it’s not going to be there for anybody.”