Bachmann backs away from GOP’s Medicare plan?

BACHMANN BACKS AWAY FROM GOP’S MEDICARE PLAN?…. It stands to reason that congressional Republicans would feel a little antsy about their party’s plan to end Medicare. It’s not a popular move, but 98% of the House GOP voted for it anyway. Inevitably, some are going to try to distance themselves from the budget plan they already supported.

I didn’t, however, expect Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to be one of them. And yet, here’s what the right-wing Minnesotan wrote this week on a conservative website:

“I supported that budget blueprint, though I’ve expressed caution about how we approach the issue of Medicare. We must keep our promises to those who receive Medicare benefits, and those who are nearing the age of Medicare eligibility. Our challenge is to reduce the soaring amounts that government spends on health care, without burdening those who are most vulnerable.”

To put it mildly, this isn’t the standard Republican line. GOP officials, from the leadership to the rank-and-file, insist that the Republican agenda with regards to Medicare is perfectly sound. They’re “saving” the program, they say. The elderly will love being part of the private market, they assure us.

But then there’s Michele Bachmann, of all people, urging “caution,” and emphasizing the need to “keep our promises” — as if her own caucus’ budget plan might not. (Of course, Bachmann voted with her party for the budget plan that eliminates Medicare.)

I don’t want to read too much into this, but if Bachmann’s concerns are representative of broader GOP anxiety, it may suggest (a) the heated responses from constituents are having an effect, (b) Republican unity on the subject may be thinner than we’d been led to believe, or (c) both.

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