By Julian Pecquet - 08/14/10 06:23 PM EDT
Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president for special projects, took to the White House blog Friday to lambast Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking Republican on the budget committee, is often portrayed as an influential conservative and a Republican willing to put forward new ideas rather than just say no to Democrats. That narrative has heightened his profile in the media and drawn considerable attention to his Medicare proposal, which he says would do more to reduce the deficit than the healthcare law's Medicare cuts.
"Under the Ryan plan, the Medicare seniors know and trust would disappear," Cutter writes. "In its place, seniors would receive a voucher to buy insurance on the private market."
Ryan argues the current system, even taking into account the healthcare reform law, is "on course to collapse."
"Only in Washington could the government raid one entitlement program to finance a brand-new one and still claim that deficits have been reduced and entitlements have been reformed," Ryan wrote in a Washington Post opinion column published Friday.
Cutter counters that Ryan's voucher proposal would increase more slowly than healthcare costs and leave seniors footing the bill.
"The bottom line under the Ryan plan: Costs would continue to rise, the value of benefits provided to seniors would continue to fall, and seniors would be stuck with fewer benefits and bigger bills."