Senate Conservatives' Budget Doesn't Match Ryan's Medicare Plan

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2011 12:38 PM

Senate Conservatives' Budget Doesn't Match Ryan's Medicare Plan

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., is introducing a plan to balance the budget in nine years. It's co-sponsored by eight Senate conservatives, including Jim DeMint and the freshman trio of Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Ron Johnson.

It also doesn't privatize or voucherize Medicare. While the Toomey plan would block grant Medicaid, it does not feature Paul Ryan's long-term Medicare plan of making the system voluntary and means-based, with future senior citizens getting vouchers to pay for health care from private insurers. From the short form of the plan:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


This budget doesn't reduce Medicare spending; it actually spends more on Medicare than either the president's budget or the House-passed budget. The results from the fact that this budget permanently reforms the so-called "sustainable growth rate" so doctors do not face the prospect of devastating cuts each year. This plan also calls for medical malpractice reform.

In remarks this afternoon, DeMint cited the Medicare part of the plan in particular. "Senator Toomey has advocated more money for Medicare than the president did," said DeMint. "You want to look at real cuts in Medicare, look at what the president is proposing."

UPDATE: When I asked, Toomey explained that his budget plan doesn't touch Medicare because "we were focused exclusively on the next 10 years."

"His goal is different than the goal we set in this budget," said Toomey, explaining that the Ryan plan makes structural changes because it focuses on long-term budget deficits, not just the next decade. "If [Paul Ryan's] bill comes to the Senate floor, I expect to vote for it. This bill has a different focus."

Marco Rubio took a more blunt question, about whether Senate conservatives were tacitly admitting how risky Ryan's bill is.

"I think you're comparing apples and oranges," said Rubio.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.