Note: Updated on 7/21/2011.
Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Chairman, this year announced with the GOP calls the "Path to Prosperity", a plan replete with significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Ryan has projected $750 billion in cost savings should the initiative be adopted, but critics charge that the plan will only succeed in endangering the lives of America's elderly by reducing their healthcare coverage. Ryan's plan would change Medicare from a Federal system that pays the beneficiary directly to a system of state-level block grants controlled by state governors that pays private insurance providers directly. Given that each state will receive a grant under the plan, there exists the possibility that the seniors could face a lower quality of coverage due to several factors that include a lack of funds allocated to their state. Conversely, the reverse is true in that some states could be granted more money for Medicaid expenditures than could reasonably be expended. No matter what the future may or may not hold, the one sure thing is that Ryan failed to mention that any funding issues plaguing Medicare were themselves exacerbated by the actions of the very Republican party he is part of, the same Republican party that caved in to special interests in an orgy of greed and pandering on the morning of November 22, 2003.
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