Conway Signals Trump Ready to Join Ryan on Medicare Phaseout

Kellyanne Conway got asked about Paul Ryan’s Medicare Phaseout plan on the NewsHour last night. She started with vague comments about being “open to hearing” Ryan’s ideas about alternatives to Medicare. (You can see her at length quotes here.) But the give away is in the precise language she uses. Note here with emphasis added: “In this case, he will go ahead and look at alternatives, Judy, as long as it does not interfere with what he has said, his commitment to keep the promises to those currently relying on them.”

“Currently” is the whole story here.

I am not sure Trump ever spoke specifically enough to say whether this is contradicting what he said. He generally just said things like “I’ll protect Medicare” or “I won’t cut Social Security or Medicare.” General statements from someone who only gives very general statements. But the key is ‘currently.’ This is the same as what Paul Ryan says: that he’ll keep Medicare for those currently on Medicare and even for those a few years from eligibility but phase it out for everyone else who is nearing retirement or folks much younger.

Every sign is that Trump’s team and thus Trump is on board with signing off on the bill Ryan wants. Maybe he personally thinks otherwise. It wouldn’t terribly surprise me if the issue hasn’t been raised with him. But until we hear some evidence to the contrary we should assume this is what he thinks too.