No. 2 Senate Democrat: ‘I Don’t Disagree With Paul Ryan ... Reduce the Costs of Medicare’

July 6, 2011 - 12:46 PM

Sen. Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) speaks on the on the Senate floor July 6, 2011.

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.), who is the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), praised Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) willingness to work on entitlement reform, saying on the Senate floor Wednesday, “I don’t disagree with Paul Ryan saying we have got to look honestly at Medicare.”

In this context, Durbin pointed to what he described as a need to "reduce the costs" of the program.

“If we don’t touch Medicare, in about 10 or 12 years it goes broke and we can’t let that happen. So we have to look at Medicare in a sensible way to reduce the costs of Medicare,” Durbin said.

Durbin’s praise of Rep. Ryan's candor in dealing with the need to reform Medicare came mixed in with some criticism. “He has studied this issue and knows it well," said Durbin. "We come to different conclusions but he did tackle the entitlements. I think he went too far on Medicare. Doubling the expenses for people on Medicare is a non-starter."

“I disagree with his conclusions," said Durbin. "I wouldn’t vote for him, I voted against him.”

Durbin’s ideas to "reduce the costs of Medicare" include adding a prescription drug option that would allow people to try to buy medication in bulk.