Senate vote on the Paul Ryan budget to press the point that the GOP remains committed to transforming Medicare into a privatized voucher plan while cutting taxes for the wealthy. The vote took place right after Democrat Kathy Hochul’s upset victory in a New York Congressional race focused on Medicare:
Senate Democrats wasted no time capitalizing on Tuesday's Medicare-fueled upset in a New York special election, holding a vote on the GOP budget plan Wednesday designed to put Republicans on record backing the controversial House budget plan.
The measure failed, 57 to 40, with five Republicans breaking ranks: Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
The spending plan, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would turn Medicare into a private program and transform Medicaid into a state block-grant system.
The Ryan budget was used as a Democratic rallying cry in the New York race, which saw Kathy Hochul triumph in the heavily Republican district.
Just before the vote Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the floor to portray the GOP budget in stark terms.
"The Republican plan to kill Medicare is a plan to make the rich richer and the sick sicker," Reid said. His speech repeatedly used the phrase, "Republican plan to kill Medicare."
So regardless of their stinging loss in a conservative district in upstate New York and angry town hall meetings across the country, the vast majority of Republicans are sticking with the plan to end Medicare. May they remain resolute, right up to the 2012 elections.