Resolute GOP Stands by Ryan's Medicare Overhaul
Despite its divisive nature, Republicans still fighting for Ryan's plan
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 7:00 AM CDT
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. answers a question at the 2011 Fiscal Summit in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Despite the five Senate Republicans who voted against Paul Ryan’s Medicare overhaul yesterday, the GOP remains wedded to the divisive, and increasingly unpopular, plan. Rather than back off, Republicans are responding by increasing attacks on the Democrats’ position, the Wall Street Journal reports. "We need to make it a choice between a do-nothing approach that will ultimately destroy Medicare, and life-saving reforms," says Rep. Tom Cole. Though the Democrats’ upset win in New York implies that the issue could have a big impact on future elections, Rep. Cliff Stearns insists it’s simply "a wake-up call on how you frame it. It obviously wasn't framed right.”

But Democrats, even as they celebrated the New York win and its implications, were also starting to realize they will need to engage in talks about Medicare’s future, the Washington Post reports. Before the vote, Bill Clinton urged Congress not to “tippy-toe around” the issue, noting that Democrats shouldn’t mine the topic simply for political gain: “We’ve got to deal with these things.” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer acknowledged Medicare “needs to be on the table,” but would not suggest concrete changes since “that is the same mistake that … [Paul] Ryan made,” illustrating the Dems’ reluctance to propose new ideas and alternatives to Ryan’s plan.