Should Medicare Reforms be Voluntary? Newt Gingrich Would Tweak Paul Ryan’s Medicare Reforms

Apr 21, 2011 1:25pm

ABC News' Amy Walter reports: 

Likely Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is making a very clear distinction between his plan for Medicare reform and that of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. In Gingrich’s latest Facebook post he says "one option is to move towards a 21st Century personal Medicare system that would allow seniors to choose on a voluntary basis a more personal system with greater options for better care."

A Gingrich spokesman tells ABC that the former House Speaker is saying we “should not compel seniors into any one size fits all system. We should design a system that they will choose over the current system, one with more choices and better care but if they want to stay in the old system — bad as it is — they can stay.” That represents a significant departure from Ryan’s plan.

 Presidential hopefuls are trying to find the right balance of praising Ryan's approach, as they did when it was first released, while not endorsing the more controversial elements of the plan.

 The House of Representatives passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan in a partisan vote last week, with just four Republicans voting against it.

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