Ryan’s Medicare Plans Run into Wall in the Senate
Paul Ryan’s dream of privatizing parts of Medicare is running up against resistance among Senate Republicans. Interviews with more than a dozen GOP lawmakers reveal they’re not planning to pursue big changes to the popular health care program for seniors — at least not in the first year of the Trump administration. That hesitation starts with the chairman who would lead any overhaul in the Senate. “We’ll have to see,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), head of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Medicare. “We’re going to have a whole new look at a lot of things. … It depends on what it is. It depends on how it is written. It depends on what it would do.” Republican control of the White House and Congress next year sets up an unusual opportunity for the party to pursue its health care agenda, similar to the one the Democrats had when Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi pushed through the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, House Budget Chairman Tom Price — a major proponent of the GOP Medicare plan who was tapped this week to be President-Elect Donald Trump’s health secretary — recently boasted that the GOP would get it done next year. But Republican plans may be even more fraught with political problems than the Democratic one. Polls show seniors are deeply skeptical about privatizing either Medicare or Social Security.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.