House GOP charges ahead on tightfisted budget plan

7:20 PM, Mar 21, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans on a key House panel have muscled through a contentious GOP budget plan to sharply cut federal health care spending and safety-net programs like food stamps as the chief means to attack trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

The near party-line vote Wednesday sends the GOP measure to the House floor next week.

The measure is nonbinding but calls for repealing President Barack Obama's health care law while transforming Medicare into a system in which the government subsidizes purchases of health insurance instead of directly paying doctor and hospital bills.

Some elements of the measure are likely to advance this spring, at least in the GOP-dominated House, as a 10-year, $261 billion package of cuts to replace deep spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and other government agencies in January.

The Associated Press

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