Biden Swings At Ryan Budget, House GOP Hits Back

Vice President Joe Biden warned that the plan drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would hurt Medicare and Medicaid, while a Republican spokesman criticized Biden for his support of a blueprint that leaves the health law in place.  

The Hill: Biden Leads Attack On Ryan Budget
Vice President Joe Biden on Monday hammered the budget offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the opening volley in what Democrats say will be a sustained focus on the GOP proposal ahead of the 2014 midterms. ... the vice president couched accusations that Republicans have "adopted an orthodoxy that devalued paychecks" in folksy wisdom from his father and nods to the impact the GOP budget would have on "grandmas" in nursing homes. Biden warned that proposed reforms to Medicare and Medicaid would impact the sick and elderly, while accusing Republicans of wanting to slash education and infrastructure (Sink, 4/28).  

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Biden, Republicans Trade Election-Year Budget Barbs
Speaking at an event at the George Washington University, Mr. Biden walked the audience through what he deemed the most egregious elements of the budget proposal, crafted earlier in April by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. He listed tax cuts for wealthy Americans, the elimination of seniors' Medicare guarantee and steep cuts to domestic programs. Matt Gorman, a spokesman for House Republicans' campaign arm, targeted Democrats' budget proposal. "Vice President Biden sure has no qualms about supporting a budget that leaves Obamacare in place, raises taxes, and never, ever balances," he said in a written statement (Ballhaus, 4/28).

Meanwhile, here are some health-related proposals gaining lawmakers' attention -

CQ HealthBeat:  Lawmakers Press To Renew Autism Programs
Lawmakers from both parties are working on legislation that would renew autism research and screening programs before they expire at the end of the fiscal year, with some advocates pressing for expanded services for adults with the condition. Congress faces a time crunch negotiating and passing a bill to reauthorize the 2006 Combating Autism Act (PL 109-416) before Sept. 30, when sunset language would make key initiatives disappear (Attias, 4/28).

CQ HealthBeat:  House Readies For Encore Of Expatriate Health Bill
Legislation that would exempt medical plans for Americans living abroad from the health law's mandates is headed back to the House floor Tuesday after it failed to garner enough votes to pass under an expedited procedure before the spring recess. The bill's authors negotiated changes in response to concerns raised during the last floor debate. The language was posted Friday as an amendment on the House Rules Committee website (Attias, 4/28).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.