Choice Of Rep. Ryan Puts His Plan To Overhaul Medicare At Center Of Campaign

Topics: Medicare, Politics

Aug 12, 2012

Republicans believe Romney’s pick will help reset the debate and add enthusiasm for the ticket, but Democratssee an opening to move the debate beyond the president’s record.The Washington Post: Paul Ryan Is Romney’s VP Pick, Setting Up Stark Choice On Budget Issues
Republican Mitt Romney reset the race for the presidency as a battle over the size and scope of the federal government Saturday, choosing as his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the architect of the GOP’s plans to slash spending and overhaul Medicare (Rucker and Helderman, 8/12).

The New York Times: Romney Chooses Ryan, Pushing Fiscal Issues To The Forefront
The selection of Mr. Ryan, the chief architect of the Republican Party’s plan for tax and spending cuts and an advocate of reshaping the Medicare program of health insurance for retirees, was an effort to reset the race with President Obama after a withering assault on Mr. Romney by Democrats. The decision instantly made the campaign seem bigger and more consequential, with the size and role of the federal government squarely at the center of the debate (Zeleny and Rutenberg, 8/11).

NPR: Choosing Ryan Defines Health Care For GOP Ticket
One thing Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will certainly do is elevate issues like Medicare and Medicaid to the top of the election agenda. As the nation gets closer to Election Day, Ryan’s addition to the GOP ticket will present the public with a dramatic choice about the role the government should play in health care (Rovner, 8/12).

The New York Times: Ryan Pick Gives Obama Chance to Change Subject
The selection of Representative Paul D. Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential candidate provides President Obama with something he has been eagerly looking for — a bigger target. A race that has revolved, at least in part, around each month’s mediocre jobs report and Mr. Obama’s persistent failure to move unemployment below 8 percent will now allow Democrats new lines of attack — starting with the assertion that Republicans are intent on dismantling Medicare — while setting off a larger debate about the role of government in the economy and society (Baker, 8/11).

Politico: Paul Ryan: Mitt Romney’s Big Bet
Romney is rolling the dice on a bet that voters crave “substance” — in this case, a deep debate about the deficit and entitlement cuts that Romney himself has mostly dodged up to this point (Thrush and Gerstein, 8/12).

The New York Times: Ryan Brings the Tea Party to the Ticket
Paul Ryan’s ascendency to the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket is a signal event for a movement that counts him as one of their own. If Mitt Romney wins in November, a Tea Party favorite will be a heartbeat from the Oval Office. … “Congressman Ryan wants the same thing we do: to pass pro-growth policies and shrink the size and scope of government,” said Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth. “No one understands the dire consequences we face by continuing to ignore our spending problem better than Congressman Ryan, and no one can do a better job of articulating a vision of how to fix it” (Shear, 9/12).

Wall Street Journal: Romney Picks Ryan As Vice-Presidential Running Mate
Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, a decision that could spark enthusiasm for the Republican ticket among conservatives and all but ensures the election will turn to deep philosophical divisions between the two parties over spending, taxes and entitlements. In Mr. Ryan, 42 years old, the Romney campaign gets a conservative who has spent recent years at the center of national debates about the size and scope of the federal government. With his proposals to revamp entitlement programs for future retirees and the poor, he has become a hero to conservatives and a target for liberals (Murray, Nelson and O’Connor, 8/11).

Los Angeles Times: Romney’s Choice Of Ryan Pleases Both Left And Right
With his surprise decision to run with Rep. Paul D. Ryan, Mitt Romney did something truly rare in today’s politics: He united the left and the right. Both sides loved the vice presidential choice. For Romney and his fellow Republicans, the selection of the author of a controversial plan to shrink the size of government served to fire up the party’s conservative base. For President Obama and fellow Democrats, the pick offered a way to divert focus from the president’s record on jobs and the economy to the Republican effort to alter Medicare and domestic programs (West, 8/12).

The Wall Street Journal: Democrats, GOP Spar Over Ryan On Shows
Republicans and Democrats sparred Sunday over Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as his running mate, seizing on his proposals in Congress to highlight differences between the parties over taxes, spending and entitlement programs. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who lost to President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the 2008 presidential election, said Mr. Ryan understands that “the most compelling challenges this nation faces obviously are jobs and the economy.” … Other Republicans, however, were more careful to avoid conflating the particulars of Rep. Ryan’s budget proposals with Mr. Romney’s campaign. “Mitt Romney appreciates and admires the work and the ideas that Paul Ryan has done,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But while celebrating Rep. Ryan’s bold efforts, he noted that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee can offer his own proposals (Entous and Peterson, 8/12).

Politico: Paul Ryan’s Plan Dissected And Inspected
Paul Ryan’s budget plan was red meat Sunday as Republicans and Democrats on the morning shows sparred over the policy proposal that made Mitt Romney’s running mate a national political figure. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) teed off on “Fox News Sunday” on the issue, calling it the “Romney-Ryan” plan and saying the Republican presidential candidate has “embraced an extremist proposal” with his pick. … Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus defended the changes to Medicare in Ryan’s budget plan, charging that President Barack Obama is the one who has “blood on his hands” for stealing from the program to fund his health care law (Palmer and Rosche, 8/12).

Los Angeles Times: Key Differences Between Paul Ryan And Mitt Romney
The Republican running mates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, agree on most major issues, but present a sharp contrast in background, temperament and outlook (Lauter, 8/11).

Politico: Ryan: Where He Helps, Where He Doesn’t
Republicans are embracing Paul Ryan as a rare candidate who appeals to all of the GOP’s most reliable constituencies and some of its least – such as women, independents and the East Coast. Likewise, Democrats say they thrilled with his selection. House and Senate candidates across the nation spoke with one voice Saturday: Ryan is not only Romney’s running mate, he’ll be the running mate of every other GOP incumbent and challenger by the time they’re through with him. They believe the GOP is doubling down on Ryan’s controversial budget plan, a strategy that Democrats insist will prove costly (Mahtesian, 8/12).

The Washington Post: Why The Debate Over Paul Ryan’s Budget And Medicare Could Be As Risky For Democrats As For The GOP
While Democrats have had success this cycle in hammering Republican congressional candidates over the Ryan budget — particularly its proposed overhaul of federal entitlement programs such as Medicare — there’s a case to be made that when it comes to the budget debate, Democrats could face as much risk as they do reward. The reason? If Democrats slam the GOP ticket with the familiar charge that the Ryan plan would “end Medicare as we know it,” Republicans have a counter-argument at the ready: namely, that Democrats backed a national health care law that trims $500 billion in federal spending on the health-care program for the elderly and disabled (Sonmez, 8/11).

The Miami Herald: Ryan Could Be A Drag On Mitt Romney In Florida
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is the architect of the Ryan budget plan that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security. And that’s widely seen as a politically risky stance in Florida, a must-win state for Republicans (Caputo, 8/11).

The Washington Post: Ryan Pick Alters Metrics For Congressional Elections
Rep. Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate has the power to reshape the race for control of Congress, with the already-simmering issue of the Wisconsin Republican’s budget now firmly at the forefront of the 2012 election. … In recent years, Democrats have used Ryan’s budget to argue that Republicans will “end Medicare as we know it” — a line of attack that has proved potent in some races. Leaders of both parties acknowledge that it helped Democrats win recent special elections in Republican-leaning districts in New York and Arizona. Democrats say putting Ryan on the ticket will make his budget even more of a focal point in 2012 and force Republicans who haven’t already taken a position on it to do so (Blake, 8/11).

Politico: How Paul Ryan’s Ideas Went Mainstream In House GOP
But there are sure to be doubters – not least among some within House Republican leadership. There’s a significant pocket of aides and lawmakers within the top rungs of leadership who think Ryan’s selection is detrimental to House Republicans. Outside groups – mainly super PACs and their affiliated organizations – have recently received polling that showed the Ryan budget was lethal to their political prospects. So in close races across the country, Republican candidates are taking pains to stay away from the budget chairman’s plan, which would overhaul Medicare. Democrats have gleefully seized on it as a political winner for their party. When the plan came to the House floor earlier this year, 10 Republicans joined all Democrats to oppose the proposal (Sherman, Kim and Nocera, 8/11).

The Hill: GOP Colleagues: Ryan’s Clashes With Obama Prepped Him For 2012
By House GOP lawmakers widely hailed Mitt Romney’s decision to select Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate, saying he had found the best spokesman to challenge President Obama with their vision of how to boost the economy and slow down deficits. Ryan’s colleagues say that he’s been doing it throughout Obama’s first term, taking on the president in high-profile encounters, and he won’t back down in the campaign (Becker, 8/12).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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