The Battle for Medicare

(NBC News) The House of Representatives has passed the "Ryan Budget" on a party-line vote of 219 to 205.

The Republican spending plan promises a balanced budget in ten years through deep and widespread cuts, tax reform and the elimination of the health care coverage offered under the affordable care act.

Authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the blueprint cuts $5.1 trillion between now and 2024.

The budget is seen as largely symbolic, since there's no legislation backing it up to implement the cuts.

Democrats say they'll use the budget, with its sweeping cuts in programs that aid the poor and support education and community development, as a tool in their upcoming midterm election campaigns.

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