Republican Plans for Medicare, Medicaid Could Decide 2012 Races

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Democrats are hoping House Republicans' vote this week on a proposal to fundamentally change Medicare and Medicaid will come back to haunt them in the 2012 campaign, the New York Times reports.

The GOP leadership is expected to call for a vote on the 2012 Republican budget, developed by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House budget committee. The proposal would convert Medicare into a payment program for private insurers and transfer the Medicaid program into block grants for states.

Democrats see the budget vote, especially regarding Medicare, as "the moment of truth" for House Republicans in 14 Democratic-leaning districts they hope to recapture next year.

But Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who is contemplating a presidential run, said voting to overhaul Medicare was not as politically risky as it might seem. Still, he said Republicans must be vigilant in defending their actions.

Read the New York Times report on Medicare

Read more coverage of the GOP proposal to restructure Medicare:

- Hospital Groups Slam GOP Budget Plan, Especially Medicaid Cuts

- GOP Proposal Would Fundamentally Change Medicare, Medicaid

- Proposed House GOP Budget Would Slow Medicare, Medicaid

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