Paul Ryan: Health Care Wars Makes Bipartisan Deficit Deal Impossible

House GOP budget guru Paul Ryan opposed President Obama’s deficit commission because it refused to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now he’s predicting the same issue will scuttle any hopes of achieving the kind of grand bipartisan deal that Obama called for in his speech on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal shortly before Obama’s speech, Ryan said that he held out hope only for modest deficit deals with the other side.

“Because we have such a difference of opinion on health care, it’s hard to imagine we’re going to have a global agreement,” Ryan said. “Everyone wants to get a grand slam, but maybe we can get a single or a double.”

Only hours later, Obama called for both parties to hammer out a comprehensive long-term deficit plan by June, a goal that seems far-fetched based on the early reaction from GOP leaders.

Ryan suggested that the two parties may come together on Social Security, but he conceded that the program was not a major contributor to the debt compared to other areas.

“Social Security is the one area where I think we’re not too many worlds apart,” he said.