House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday that President Barack Obama must “come to the table” in order to avert the looming fiscal crisis and that “both sides should agree to common-sense reforms of the country’s entitlement programs and tax code.”
But noticeably absent from Ryan’s proposals was any reference to the Affordable Care Act.
“The president is giving Congress the silent treatment. He’s refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling. That’s a shame—because this doesn’t have to be another crisis,” Ryan wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “It could be a breakthrough.”
Ryan’s proposals include requiring those who are “better off to pay higher premiums for Medicare” and reforming the Medigap plans “to encourage efficiency and reduce costs.”
And although he addressed the need for a “complete rethinking of government’s approach to health care,” Paul never explicitly called for changes to Obamacare, a pre-requisite to any deal for many conservatives on Capitol Hill. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said earlier this week that any debt limit deal must delay or defund the Affordable Care Act.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said emphatically Tuesday that a “clean” debt limit increase — one without reforms attached — would be tantamount to “unconditional surrender” for Republicans.
This post has been updated.