New Ryan Plan Would Keep Medicare
He'll offer new strategy with Democrat Ron Wyden
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2011 7:19 PM CST
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Paul Ryan looks to be backing off his controversial plan to scrap Medicare entirely—the one Newt Gingrich famously derided as "right-wing social engineering," reports the Hill. Instead, the GOP congressman and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden will unveil a new strategy tomorrow that would allow the program to remain but force it to compete against private plans.

Seniors would have the choice of which route to take. But even if it manages to get through, the proposal would not take effect until 2022 or affect any seniors currently in the program, notes the Wall Street Journal. “We want to demonstrate that there is an emerging consensus developing on how to preserve Medicare," Ryan tells the Washington Post. "This program’s got to be reformed to be saved. The country's at stake." The shift will complicate Democratic plans to go after Republicans as Medicare-killers in the upcoming election, notes the Hill.