In the spring of 2011, the new Republican House majority votes overwhelmingly in favor of the budget proposal advanced by the new House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. Ryan proposes a controversial restructuring of Medicare to move it in a premium support/voucher direction beginning in 2023, a proposal that gets lots and lots of attention, pro and con. Ryan’s budget proposal also includes complete repeal of the ACA, with one little-noticed exception, the $500 billion in ACA Medicare reductions.
Nearly every House and Senate Republican votes for the Ryan proposal. In the spring of 2012, Ryan again releases the plan, and includes the same repeal of the ACA, minus the Medicare reductions, now approaching $700B. And, again, nearly every House Republican votes for the plan.
Meanwhile, as this is all happening, another group of Republicans is spending their time running for the Republican presidential nomination, among them, Mitt Romney. After initially putting some distance between himself and Ryan’s budget plan, Romney gives the plan an enthusiastic embrace, though not a complete endorsement. Mitt, you see, wants to repeal every word and punctuation mark of the ACA, including the Medicare reductions.