After a day of conflicting reports and quotes, this now seems like a safe bet: The Republican plan to overhaul Medicare with a voucher system will be put off until after the 2012 election. Paul Ryan conceded as much even as John Boehner insisted "nothing is off the table." But the clincher came from Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways and Means panel, who said he has no desire to advance a bill that stands no chance of passing the Senate, reports the New York Times. "I'm not interested in laying down more markers," he said. "I'm interested in solutions."
The decision to back off isn't sitting well with all Republicans, notes the Washington Post. Many took their lumps defending the plan back home. “I would be very disappointed if we didn’t follow through,” said Joe Walsh. “I appreciate the chairman’s notion, but I would continue to respectfully challenge him to get this thing through committee.” The developments come amid the backdrop of Joe Biden's bipartisan talks on the deficit and the debt ceiling, which opened today and set the stage for big-picture haggling on spending cuts, notes Reuters. "All of us understand we have got to achieve results," said participant Eric Cantor.