In a partisan vote, Republicans approve the 2012 spending plan that would cut trillions and gradually end Medicare as a health coverage provider
The Republican-led House passed on Friday its fiscal 2012 budget resolution, which cuts $5.8 trillion from current spending levels over the next 10 years and reforms Medicare and Medicaid, a clear display of the GOP's vision for policy and spending. The plan in its current form has little chance of passing the Senate, but is another shot in what will be a continuing battle over spending priorities.
The spending plan, largely crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., passed on a nearly party line vote of 235-193. The budget resolution comes as the nation's budget deficit is expected to remain historically high, at more than $1 trillion for the current and next fiscal year. During the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans campaigned on cutting spending and reducing the deficit, which gave them control of the House and increased their numbers in the Senate. The spending blueprint reflects their efforts to keep those promises, which they also believe is good politics.
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One area where Republicans are looking for savings is within entitlement programs, which are the largest drivers of the budget deficit. Under the plan, Medicare would be changed to a defined-contribution voucher plan, while Medicaid would shift to a block grant system.