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Republican Rep. Ryan Calls For Medicare Overhaul

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House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will announce his plan Tuesday, which aims to cut expenses by fundamentally changing the role the government plays in paying for health care for the elderly.

The new plan, which analysts consider unlikely to pass Congress, would phase out Medicare. In its place, the government would offer subsidies to help the elderly purchase private health insurance. Anyone 55 or older would remain on the current system.

While the plan itself is unlikely to pass, it will almost certainly become an issue – if not the top issue – in the 2012 elections. Medicare has long been considered an untouchable political issue, as its elderly beneficiaries tend to be the most active voters.

 

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