Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Republicans suggest more corruption to health care as a solution to bi-partisanship

...Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, said he would "absolutely" be willing to negotiate with Democrats, who have hammered his plan to scale back government-run health plans for the poor and the elderly.

With Ryan's plan headed for likely defeat in the Democratic-controlled Senate, that chamber's top Republican said it was time for "an adult conversation" on ways to keep healthcare costs under control.

"Let's just stipulate that nobody is trying to throw Grandma off the cliff," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday."

Health reform is a top sticking point as the two sides try to hash out a budget deal that would give lawmakers political cover to back an increase in the country's borrowing authority.

And as the 2012 election season gets underway, it is shaping up to be a top campaign issue as well.

Ryan's proposal to partially privatize the Medicare health plan for the elderly has already imperiled the presidential hopes of one Republican, Newt Gingrich, who faced a fierce conservative backlash last week after he described it as "right-wing social engineering."

Polls show that Ryan's proposed changes are unpopular with voters, and McConnell said he is not urging his fellow Republicans to support it when it comes up for a vote in the Senate this week.

"We have other budgets that Republicans are pushing," McConnell said. "We're not going to be able to coalesce behind just one."...