McConnell: Ryan Medicare plan 'on the table'

By ANDREW TAYLOR | May 29, 2011 | 10:12 AM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, May, 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican in the Senate says a controversial House Medicare plan is "on the table" as President Barack Obama and his GOP rivals wrestle over budget cuts to enact this summer.

Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press" that he supports the controversial plan by Rep. Paul Ryan to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system in which future beneficiaries — those 54 and younger — would get subsidies to buy health insurance rather than have the government directly pay their doctor and hospital bills.

But McConnell noted that there's a Democrat in the White House. That means that the Ryan plan is effectively dead for now. The measure by the Wisconsin Republican congressman also fell well short in a Senate vote last week.