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Despite Senate Rejection, Paul Ryan Won't Back Down on Medicare Despite Senate Rejection, Paul Ryan Won't Back Down on Medicare

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Despite Senate Rejection, Paul Ryan Won't Back Down on Medicare

Update: The Senate voted down Ryan's bill 40 to 57 Tuesday afternoon. Five Republicans voted against the plan: Lisa Murkowski, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Rand Paul. Politico's David Rogers writes that it's a "tell-tale sign of trouble ahead" that there were more moderates voting nay than in a March test vote. And no moderate Democrats defected to vote for the plan, either, though Chuck Schumer didn't vote. The Senate voted on three alternative budgets, and those all failed, too. President Obama's budget, which Democrats argued was outdated, got zero votes.

Rep. Paul Ryan isn't backing away from his plan to overhaul Medicare the day after, even in his estimation, the issue helped swing a special election in a conservative New York district to Democrats. Tuesday night, Ryan posted a second video, complete with sleek infographics, explaining why the program had to be changed. Wednesday morning, he told MSNBC that Democrats were using "Mediscare" tactics, and told the Peterson Foundation Summit that they are "are shamelessly demagoguing and distorting" the Medicare plan by "trying to scare seniors and using this as a political weapon." Republicans have to act now, Ryan said, because "If we wait, if we allow these 'Mediscare' tactics to continue... to inflict paralysis on our system, do you know what happens then? Austerity."

Ryan's Medicare explainer: