West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, criticized House Budget chairman Paul Ryan’s recently released budget plan this afternoon in the Capitol. “According to our analysis,” Rockefeller said, “the size of the federal government will be cut 40 percent of where it is today at the expiration of the Ryan budget.”
Rockefeller then claimed that most Democrats are united in their opposition to Ryan's plan. “I’ve never seen so much anger, so much unity, so much sheer astonishment that any human being could actually do this,” Rockefeller said. “So we are going to fight like crazy… [Republicans] continue to take--lower--the estate tax rates. They give them more income tax cuts for the super rich, etc. I can’t believe that somebody who actually goes into public service would do something like that.”
Asked about potential cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Rockefeller outlined where the Ryan budget makes cuts to federal health care programs.
“[Ryan] not only eliminates all of CHIP for everybody, but he makes all of Medicare a voucher,” Rockefeller said. “He calls it a premium support. That means it’s a premium support that doesn’t go to seniors to buy health care. It goes to the insurers.”
Ryan maintains that his premium support proposal for Medicare reform is different from a straight voucher program. According to the plan, Medicare would subsidize an insurance plan chosen by the beneficiary.