The plan also would convey funds for Medicaid, government-funded insurance for the poor, in block grants to the states. JFNA and JCPA objected to the loosening of federal controls over how such money is spent.
As the budget debate has become more rancorous this year, JFNA has opted out, although among other Jewish groups the criticism has become more pointed.
Jewish community officials say that privatizing entitlement programs is more likely to drive up costs for individuals than it is to keep overall costs down.
Ryan’s defenders note that President Obama’s plan also incorporates cuts to Medicare. They argue that Ryan’s plan, broadening options for recipients, is the more efficient and the likelier to prevent further cuts.
“Everyone acknowledges the program is the foremost driver of our long-term debt,” Rich Lowry wrote in National Review Online.
“Both Ryan and the president use the same formula of roughly GDP growth plus inflation for setting Medicare’s global budget. The difference is that the president wants a bureaucratic board to get the savings through arbitrary limits on prices that ultimately will limit access to care, while Ryan wants to get the savings through competition and choice.”