GOP may halt Medicare reform plans

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Rents increased in nursing homes, independent living facilities, NIC quarterly data shows
Rents increased in nursing homes, independent living facilities, NIC quarterly data shows

Key Republican lawmakers said they would wait until after the 2012 elections to make major changes to Medicare, according to published reports. At least one key GOP member, however, challenged that assertion.

In a bipartisan White House meeting hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) told the group that since the GOP plan was not likely to garner approval from Democrats, Republicans would not move forward with plans for turning Medicare into a voucher system, Reuters reported. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) who authored the fiscal 2012 budget and Medicare overhaul, said he hopes to negotiate other cuts before the 2012 election. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said these could include eliminating federal subsidies to farmers and limiting physician malpractice suits, The New York Times reported.

However, Cantor's spokesman said Thursday the reports of Republicans backing off Medicare reform within the budget are not accurate, and that the “House GOP position is the Ryan budget, period.”

GOP representatives have faced heated town hall meetings, criticism from President Obama and backlash from nursing home provider organizations over Ryan's budget. Ryan's Medicare plan would involve giving beneficiaries — or those who are currently ages 55 and younger — a federal subsidy to buy insurance from a list of private insurance carriers.