More Republicans Shy Away From GOP Medicare Plan

May 05, 2011 2:40 pm ET — Kate Conway

Rep. Dave Camp

Despite House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) claim that the GOP is "all very united around" Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget plan, which would upend Medicare, more and more congressional Republicans are publicly expressing less-than-ardent support for the politically toxic proposal.

This morning, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) snuffed out what Cantor insists is his party's official position, indicating that he won't bring it up in committee since it has no chance of passing in the Senate or being signed into law.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said Thursday he has no interest in bringing up House Republicans' proposal to replace Medicare with subsidies for private insurance if it's not going to pass the Senate.

"I'm not really interested in laying down more markers," said Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). "I'd rather have the committee working with the Senate and with the president to focus on savings and reforms that can be signed into law."

Camp's feelings about the bill being a waste of time must be new, since he was one of all but four Republicans who voted in favor of the plan when it passed the House in mid-April.

This afternoon, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told TPM that he'd prefer a plan that leaves seniors "the fallback of a traditional Medicare benefit" to the Ryan plan. And Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said the Senate is discussing "two or three different alternatives."

Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), responding to Camp's decision to face the music, has acknowledged that "political realities" prevent the House GOP's far-fetched plan from being a viable legislative proposal. Yet Boehner reportedly "insisted that the GOP hasn't abandoned the plan." Perhaps they should get on with that, since it's growing more and more apparent that the party's 'unity' on Ryan's budget plan is mostly in Cantor's imagination.