By Jason Millman - 04/05/11 08:13 PM EDT
Ryan tried to distance himself from the voucher plan during a Tuesday press conference on his budget proposal.
"This is a different proposal," Ryan said.
House Democrats, who have spent the past few months in the minority, have eagerly tied Republicans to Ryan’s voucher plan. During a Tuesday press conference, several House Democrats repeatedly dubbed Ryan’s proposal a voucher program.
When asked Tuesday the difference between voucher and premium support, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said there isn’t any.
“Whether you want to call it a voucher or call it a premium-support program, it all comes down to the same thing,” the Budget Committee’s top Democrat said. “Seniors no longer have the option to be in the Medicare program they are today.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), in a statement blasting Ryan’s proposal, said the GOP budget would transform Medicare into a “voucher-like” program.
But Republicans say that Democrats are trying their best to demagogue the debate over entitlement reform before it even starts.
“They’re going to want to slap a bumper sticker on it that will scare people, but we’re trying to have the adult conversation,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told The Hill. “If they have a better plan or suggestion, offer it.”
Van Hollen says Democrats will offer up an alternative budget, but he provided few details on Tuesday.