Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich does not fully understand a GOP proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system, dismissing criticism from the former House speaker that the plan would be a radical change.
Ryan says Gingrich misunderstands GOP Medicare proposal
"I just think he's missing the mark on what our plan actually does," Ryan, chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, told reporters Monday after a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago. "Our plan is one of the most gradual things one could do," because it would not affect people over age 55 and would not kick in for 10 years.
On Sunday, Gingrich had told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Ryan's plan is "too big a jump" and that he's against implementing radical changes. "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
Gingrich stood by his criticism during a stop in Iowa on Monday, but softened his language a bit. He said he generally supports the GOP budget proposal, but differs with Ryan's approach to Medicare, saying he believes "you need a much more fundamental, much more comprehensive approach to fixing Medicare." Gingrich said it would be too jarring to recipients to change the program from a guaranteed benefit to a voucher program.
Both Gingrich and Ryan have said that they want to repeal the federal healthcare bill signed by President Barack Obama last year.
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