Medicare

Paul Ryan Expands Medicare Voucher Proposal

He would offer the transformed program to those under 56

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Paul Ryan's budget will show how Republicans can balance a budget that's trillions of dollars out of whack. But the most significant unresolved issue comes down to a minuscule number: one year.

Ryan — the House Budget Committee chairman — has privately been floating the idea of allowing his changes to Medicare to kick in for Americans younger than 56.  In previous budgets, those 55 and older were exempted from his plan to turn Medicare into a premium-support — or voucher — program.

It might not seem like much of a distinction — and it doesn't help Republicans achieve their stated goal of balancing the budget in 10 years.

But it has sharp political teeth.