House budget debate turning on tax treatment of the wealthy

"A vote against the Republican budget is a vote for basic American values," said House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.). "Vote no."

Several Democrats joined the debate to decry the GOP's plan to provide health insurance payment assistance to those less than 55 years old, instead of having them enter the Medicare system. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said this would "dismantle" Medicare, and House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said the plan would lead to healthcare rationing by income and by the insurance industry.

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rejected this by saying Medicare is already expected to go bankrupt by 2020, and this his plan would help keep elderly Americans covered when the program becomes unsustainable.

"It applies to people 54 and below," Ryan said of his payment assistance plan, "and it occurs in 2022, and guess what happens two years before that under the status quo? Medicare goes bankrupt."

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