Ryan: ‘We Will Decide Later’ How And When To Tackle Medicare Privatization

AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that plans to overhaul Medicare remain “unresolved” in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“We haven’t addressed that. That’s an unresolved issue. I haven’t even spoke with the president-elect about that,” Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in a Monday interview.

The House speaker has for years proposed radical reforms to Medicare that involve replacing the current system with private health insurance supported in part by government subsidies.

A number of Republican House lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, have called on Congress to move quickly on Medicare privatization now that the GOP has control of the House, Senate and White House. Some GOP senators have expressed reservations, however.

Ryan suggested he has no plan of dropping the issue, but that the timing and method for taking on Medicare is not yet decided.

“We have a future of insolvency with Medicare that needs to be addressed. How and when we address that is something we will decide later,” he told the Journal-Sentinel.

Ryan added that he has “no doubt” that the President-elect, who has said he does not support slashing social welfare programs, “wants to save Medicare for future seniors.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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