ThinkProgress filed this report from Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been telling constituents here in Wisconsin that the GOP’s budget would not change Medicare for Americans over the age of 55, going so far as to say, “in our budget we propose not doing any further cuts to Medicare.” “Our point is, let’s not mess with the current program — and yes it grows fast and it’s costing a lot — but we can cash flow it, if we reform it for the next generation going forward.” Ryan went on to say that his “big concern” was that President Obama’s health care law would cut reimbursement rates for existing Medicare providers and push doctors out of the program:
RYAN: Rick Foster — who’s the guy, the chief actuary of Medicare, I talk to him all the time about this. His concern is — this is the chief actuary of Medicare — that if the IPAB goes through, which is in law, it’s just going to cause more providers to just drop Medicare. It’s just going to cause more and more providers not to take Medicare patients.
But earlier this month, Ryan himself admitted that the GOP budget keeps many of the health care law’s reductions to Medicare — thus opening himself up to criticism that the Ryan budget would also force providers out of business. “We retain the Medicare savings,” Ryan said during an April 6th speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
Providers went along with the reductions in the health care law because they would have received 32 million new customers from the coverage expansion provisions and are now complaining about some of the cuts in Ryan’s budget. “The coverage expansions are rescinded, but the cuts remain,” American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbendstock told The Hill shortly after the GOP budget was released. “The two were coupled in healthcare reform… It’s unacceptable if just the cuts stand.”