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Paul Ryan holds up a copy of his
It's back, now with even more pain.
Rep. Paul Ryan has once again resurrected his hugely unpopular Medicare voucher plan (they're calling it "competitive bidding"), now with even more stuff to make it unpopular. Bowing to the reality that his numbers just don't add up to what he says will be a balanced budget in 10 years, Ryan has decided to break the promise Republicans made to protect people 55 and older from his cuts.

That's the promise he and Mitt Romney made on the 2012 campaign trail and the promise GOP Congress members ran on, and now some of them are "furious" with Ryan's reversal.

After agreeing to write a budget resolution that will balance the budget over the next decade, Ryan conceded that he might have to adjust the age to as high as 59.

The dwindling group of middle-of-the-road House Republican lawmakers decried the potential change in age because the party for the past two years has repeatedly cited 55 years and above as the untouched generation. Some of the members are also facing challenging reelection races next year.

“A lot of people had made commitments at 55. In other words, in the campaign [Republican vulnerable members] said it wouldn’t affect your Medicare for retirees or near retirees for those 55 and up ... and [if] this budget forces them to renege on that, that would be problematic for many,” said the GOP lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The handful of "moderate" Republicans (the ones who have to appear not quite as crazy as they really are because they're in tougher districts) aren't likely to be a big enough force in the party to convince Ryan to change his mind. He's got to make a stab at getting his numbers to finally work, and the only way he can do that, and get in all the tax cuts he wants, is by starving a few more grannies.

All of which could make 2014 just a little more profitable for Democrats, particularly if they can stave off any grand bargain that includes Medicare.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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