Dems press Medicare attack as GOP downplays budget vote


It's no longer the "Ryan budget," but rather the "Republican budget," female Democratic senators said at a news conference Tuesday.

The House budget, which passed with only four Republican "no" votes, would convert Medicare into sort of voucher system for seniors to buy private insurance. It also would convert federal Medicaid funding into block grants to states and repeal the healthcare reform law, including its expanded coverage for preventive services such as mammograms.

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill MORE (D-Calif.) chastised "the geniuses over there" in the House for crafting the proposal — as well as reporters who suggested that the House budget is dead on arrival in the Senate.

"It's very much alive ... and we need to kill it," Boxer said.

But while Senate Republicans sought to downplay the relevance of the budget vote this week, House GOP leadership is still standing firmly behind the Ryan plan. Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Democrats' strategy conundrum: a 'movement' or a coalition? The biggest political upsets of the decade Bottom Line MORE (R-Va.) reportedly said Tuesday that he wants to see all of the party's presidential candidates embrace the plan.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) ran afoul of the party establishment earlier this month when he referred to Ryan's Medicare proposal as "right-wing social engineering." He later said he supported the plan and would have voted for it if he were in the House.