House Republicans are still finalizing their formal blueprint for government spending over the next ten years. But, on Fox News Sunday, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan confirmed what several media outlets reported last week: The Republicans will propose to transform Medicare from a government-run program into what most people would call a voucher system. They will also propose to convert Medicaid from an entitlement to a block grant.
These would be huge, controversial changes. And while Ryan says his party is actually trying to "save Medicare [and] save Medicaid," I know of at least one person who would be skeptical: Lyndon Johnson.
Johnson was the president who, in 1965, signed the legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid: "No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine," Johnson said at the signing ceremony. "No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years."