House Speaker John Boehner has announced a “fix” to Medicare–which comes at a whopping $400 billion in new spending over the next twenty years.
Boehner plans to introduce legislation that would hike Medicare’s “Sustainable Growth Rate,” the formula that dictates how the federal government reimburses doctors who serve Medicare patients.
Outside conservative groups, like Heritage Action, are fuming–and planning to fight this bill, before it becomes law. And Boehner’s Republican colleagues in Congress aren’t too happy about it either.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), for example, joked that Boehner and House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, actually share a “joint speakership” after the number of one-sided “compromises” that Boehner has given to Pelosi recently.
He goes on to argue that new spending–at a time of record deficits–makes Republicans into hypocrites:
“Talking to some if my fellow conservatives, I said, ‘How do we tell Democrats we’re serious about cutting spending when our spending will bulk up? My worry is that… we’re going to break open the budget caps. That’s what we’re doing.”
Boehner sees this fight differently–as a chance to make real change to Medicare, without partisan politics.
“There was an opportunity to work in a bipartisan way to find the appropriate spending offsets,” Boehner said. “The door opened and I decided to walk in.”
It remains to be seen whether Boehner can get enough Republicans on his side to pass the new Medicare spending, or whether conservatives will stop his plans in their tracks.