The House of Representatives has voted 228-191 to pass Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) fiscal 2013 budget bill, which would drastically change Medicare.
Ryan's budget proposal contains provisions to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, drastically cut nondefense spending over the next decade, and reshape the U.S. tax code.
It would turn Medicare into a "premium support" system starting in 2025 when Medicare beneficiaries would be given a choice between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and several private insurance plans.
Once a beneficiary chooses a plan, the government would send that plan a "premium support" payment equal to either the cost of traditional Medicare or the second least-expensive private plan, whichever is less. Beneficiaries who chose a plan costing more than the amount of the premium support payment would have to make up the difference.
The proposal also would change the Medicaid program -- currently a joint federal/state program that guarantees a specific set of benefits -- into a block-grant program, in which states would receive a set amount of money to spend for Medicaid.
The bill is not expected to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.