Romney VP Pick Sparks Debate on Future of Medicare, MedicaidImage Banner

Romney VP Pick Sparks Debate on Future of Medicare, Medicaid

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Romney VP Pick Sparks Debate on Future of Medicare, Medicaid

August 15, 2012

The news media coverage this week, following Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate, has focused predominantly on the impact to Medicare of the Ryan budget proposal. An Associated Press story, “The other Paul Ryan plan: $800B in Medicaid cuts,” puts the focus on the impact to Medicaid, and provides a concise summary.
 

Under the Ryan budget, Medicare would be converted to a "premium support system,” in which eligible seniors would receive financial assistance to buy health insurance in the private market. Medicaid would be converted to a block grant system, under which states' federal assistance would be capped at a certain limit, and many current restrictions placed on states as a condition of receiving federal funds would be lifted. Medicaid is currently funded with federal funds matching state funds.