Few if any changes are expected in a GOP proposal to partially privatize Medicare, converting it into a premium support system where beneficiaries would receive a federal subsidy and choose among competing health care plans that include traditional Medicare. As in past budgets, the proposal is likely to keep the cutoff age at 55, meaning anyone above that age would remain in the current Medicare system unless they chose otherwise.
The budget also could save a few dollars from tweaks of welfare and job training consolidation proposals in past resolutions. But the plan is not likely to contain an explicit, comprehensive welfare overhaul proposal growing out of an anti-poverty report that Ryan issued earlier this month. Ryan wants to introduce some poverty related initiatives later this year.
No proposed changes to Social Security are expected in the budget. Many in the GOP favor modifications to the program that would eliminate a growing imbalance between the trust fundís revenue and the benefits that are paid out.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.