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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

With Obama not engaged in long-term deficit reduction, someone must take first steps: Republicans to Propose Overhaul to Medicaid

From The Wall Street Journal:

House Republicans are preparing to propose a major shake-up of the Medicaid health-care program for the poor, a first step in their drive to overhaul federal entitlements, according to a member of the House Budget Committee.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the budget committee chairman, is expected to release his budget proposal by the first week in April.

A spokesman for Mr. Ryan declined to comment on whether a Medicaid overhaul would be included in the GOP budget proposal, but he confirmed that Mr. Ryan's budget plan would call for entitlement savings and include some recommendations on how to achieve them.

With voters and lawmakers worried about high federal deficits, Congress has focused so far on making cuts to the one-third of the federal budget that is discretionary spending—programs such as defense, education and foreign aid that are funded by annual appropriations.

Some lawmakers say significant deficit reduction can only be accomplished by reining in entitlements, such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Republicans have been saying they will propose big reductions in those programs in the fiscal 2012 budget.

But increasingly, promises to make those savings have become a talking point in negotiations over a spending plan for the remaining months of 2011. With conservative activists disappointed that more spending cuts aren't being made in this year's budget, Republican leaders have been promising cuts will come to entitlement programs in 2012.

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