The House voted today 235 to 193 in favor of the 2012 budget resolution written by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
All Democrats voted "no," and only four Republicans joined them: Ron Paul (Tex.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), David McKinley (W.V.). It's probably safe to say that Paul, Jones, and Rehberg voted "no" because it didn't cut enough spending fast enough for them (though we'll have their official reasons soon enough). Rehberg needs to make it through a Republican primary in Montana this year, and Paul and Jones are staunch libertarians.
That means that almost* all of the moderate Republican House members decided to cast their lots with Ryan. This is the debate Democrats were hoping for, and Republicans have decided to give it to them.
Republicans and Democrats have given the American people a clear choice: reform Medicare for future beneficiaries in a free-market direction, as Ryan has proposed, or leave it up to a panel of "experts," as Obama has proposed, to ration health care.
The debate now is not whether Medicare will change, but how it will change.
*Update: Roll call here: Republican David Reichert of Washington did not vote.