Scott Brown of Massachusetts is the first Senate Republican to say he won’t be supporting the House budget plan to turn Medicare into a subsidy program.
The plan is unacceptable because it would force the elderly to pay a higher price for their health care, Brown wrote in a Monday opinion piece in Politico.
“The cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support—and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays,” Brown wrote.
The Senate votes on the House Republican budget plan this week. It will fail in the Democratic Senate, but Republicans will likely force consideration of President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget, a tough vote for Democrats facing reelection in the next cycle.
There is also a special election this week in New York’s 26th Congressional District, where Medicare and the House Republican plan have played a major role in the debate. The Republican candidate, Jane Corwin, supports the House budget.
Brown criticized Obama for not offering his own plan to control Medicare costs in the 2012 budget, and credited House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the person who “finally jumpstarted the debate.”
This article appears in the May 23, 2011 edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.