House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer laid down the Democrats' marker Tuesday by declaring that the new Paul Ryan Medicare plan is basically the same as his old one that ignited a firestorm of controversy.
"We think it's more of the same, essentially," Hoyer told reporters at his weekly press conference. "While he's tweaked the Medicare [plan], it will in fact do what his last budget did, and that is force people off Medicare, as it will increase the price of Medicare. We believe also that the guarantee, which allegedly is a change is, as a practical matter, is not a change."
The new plan replaces Medicare with a subsidized insurance exchange, as the old one does, but it includes traditional Medicare as an option among private plans that seniors can buy into. The value of the vouchers is slightly higher than his earlier plan.