by Karl Stark | May 10, 2011
On May 5, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee (which have jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid) called upon the chairs of both committees — Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI), respectively — to hold public hearings on Republican proposals to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them.
Republican members of the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2012 on April 15 which replaces Medicare with a private insurance voucher system and cuts over $1.4 trillion from Medicaid. (Read: House Budget Committee’s 2012 Budget Plan Pulls the Plug on Seniors, Students, People with Disabilities and the Middle Class to Pay for Tax Cuts for Millionaires)
Overall, the Republican budget plan makes over $4.3 trillion in draconian cuts to federal programs while providing $4.2 trillion in new tax breaks for profitable corporations and the wealthiest individuals. Despite these radical changes, House Republicans have yet to hold a single public hearing to discuss the proposals in-depth.
Here are two reasons they might be hiding: at last count, 70 percent of Americans opposed limiting Medicare, and 54 percent called the Republican changes to Medicaid “a bad idea.”