Conservative budget plan keeps healthcare reform's Medicare cuts

Republicans, defending the cuts, say they're putting $500 billion back into the Medicare program.

“Unlike the Democrats, who use that to build new programs, we use that to sustain where we are with regard to Medicare,” said Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), chairman of the RSC’s budget and spending task force.

“We only count it once,” he added.

Hospital groups, which agreed to $155 billion in Medicare cuts over a decade in exchange for a lower rate of uninsured individuals, slammed Republicans for keeping the cuts while ditching the rest of healthcare reform.

"The two were coupled in healthcare reform,” American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock told The Hill on Tuesday. “It's unacceptable if just the cuts stand."