Republicans seen scrapping Ryan Medicare plan in U.S. budget push

Ryan arrives to hold a committee hearing on the topic of U.S. economic growth at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Aiming to acquire more budget powers and take a swipe at Obamacare, Republicans will likely scrap a proposal that stirred controversy and helped launch Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan on the national stage: privatizing the Medicare health program. Ryan’s bold Medicare “premium support” plan would be sacrificed to ensure passage of Congress’ first full budget in six years and allow Republicans a rare opportunity to use a powerful procedural tool to ease passage of other legislation. Dropping the fiscal conservative’s signature plan, which had little chance of enactment, is one sign of how the Republican-controlled House and Senate are trying to show they can govern effectively as they seek to win the White House in 2016. Republicans are hoping to use the power known as budget “reconciliation” to pass a bill to repeal or replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” a long-standing goal of the party.

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