The conservative jeers will likely be heard from afar -- "RINO! RINO! RINO!" -- following Sen. Scott Brown's bold statement that he will vote "no" on Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan.
In an op-ed piece published early this morning on Politico, Brown made it clear that he sees serious issues with Ryan's proposals. In addressing the reasons why he will not support the plan, he writes:
First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support— and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.
Second, Medicare has already taken significant cuts to help pay for Obama’s health care plan. The president and Congress cut a half trillion dollars to the private side of Medicare — meaning seniors are at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage.
Another key principle is that seniors should not have to bear a disproportionate burden. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. If Medicare is to survive for current beneficiaries and future generations, we must act. The sooner Congress addresses this, the less painful it is likely to be — but more difficult adjustments will be required if we delay.
To mend the system, Brown believes there should be a greater focus on preventing fraud, a push for tort reform and "increas[ed] congressional oversight of how Medicare reimburses providers," among other cost-saving measures. Rather than radically reforming the system, as Paul proposes, Brown claims that we don't need to change "Medicare as we know it." He advocates "work[ing] inside of Medicare" to solve the fiscal issues associated with it.
Over at The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin tackles Brown's criticisms point-by-point. In frustration, she writes, "Has Brown even read Ryan’s plan?" Rubin says that Brown doesn't seem to understand Ryan's proposal and that his counter solutions for amending Medicare mirror provisions that are already present in Ryan's plan. In sum: Brown has nothing new to offer.
Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan appeared on NBC's Meet the Press to address criticisms he's received from Newt Gingrich, among other right-leaning politicians and commentators. You can watch the appearance below:
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) scolded the senator for opposing the House GOP budget from Rep. Paul Ryan.
An Illinois Republican on Monday said Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) should be "ashamed of himself" for opposing Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan.
"Respectfully, Scott Brown ought to be ashamed of himself," Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. "This is the defining moment of this generation. We have got to be bold. We know these entitlements have to be reformed to be saved. He knows that."