• Ryan Budget Introduced In the House
  • March 20, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his newest budget plan. Despite a couple of trial balloons floated by Ryan over the last few weeks suggesting there could be some significant changes to this year’s budget, his latest plan looks remarkably similar to his previous budgets.

    After receiving push back from House Republican centrists, Ryan kept 55 the magic number in his latest budget proposal: no one age 55 and older would be affected by any of his proposed changes to Medicare.

    For those 54 and younger, Ryan proposes turning Medicare into a fixed-cost program beginning in 2024, by giving them a set amount of money to purchase their own health care or a traditional Medicare plan on the private market. This assumes that the business competition will keep prices low enough to make health insurance affordable for senior citizens.

    The Ryan budget turns Medicaid and food-stamp funding over to the states-effectively transforming these programs from open-ended entitlements and forms of assistance for anyone in need into programs with set budgets. This would mean that people could only receive Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits vis-à-vis state governments as long as the federal money lasted.

    The Ryan budget would also end government programs such as housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His budget also proposes to simplify the tax code by having just two tax brackets - 10% and 25%.

    The biggest change in this year’s Ryan budget is that this budget would balance in 10 years (last year’s Ryan budget didn’t balance for 28 years). Ryan is able to make the leap to balance in 10 years in part due to sequestration cuts, as well as revenue raised in the fiscal cliff deal negotiated at the end of last year.

    The Ryan budget came under attack this week by Democrats and by non-partisan analysts for reaching its balance in 10 years by assuming the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Critics of the Ryan budget point out that repeal of President Obama’s signature health care proposal is a political fantasy.