House Speaker Paul Ryan made clear Thursday that he wants to pursue a major overhaul of Medicare, including changes that could eventually put private companies in charge of the health care for tens of millions of American seniors, The Washington Post reported. Rayn is pushing for this despite the fact that Donald Trump has said he won’t touch Social Security or Medicare and while he is tackling Obamacare which in of itself will be a massive endeavor.
“Save Medicare for another day,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “We want to begin immediately to repeal Obamacare. . . . Trying to deal with the solvency issues with Medicare at the same time falls into the category of biting off more than you can chew. It’s an important issue, it’s one I’m ready to address, but a little humility here would be in order. We can’t do everything at once, and we shouldn’t try.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday insisted that President-elect Donald Trump will honor his campaign commitment to leave Medicare and Social Security unscathed.
In an appearance on the ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Pence indicated that Trump was sticking to his pledge first made in April 2015 to prevent congressional Republicans “from doing a big number” on Social Security and Medicare.
“We can’t do that,” Trump said at that time. Asked today about renewed calls from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) and others to privatize Medicare into a voucher-style system, Pence replied that Trump hasn’t changed his position and that a Medicare overhaul is not on the table.
“Well, look. I think President-elect Trump made it very clear in the course of the campaign that as president, we’re going to keep our promises in Social Security and Medicare,” he said.
Medicaid is another thing however. Pence said “there’s a real opportunity” for major savings by converting Medicaid from an entitlement to block grants to the states – a move that would give state officials far more latitude to set eligibility requirements and impose cost-saving measures.
In his state of Indiana, Pence required beneficiaries to make contributions to health savings accounts and other states initiated stricter work requirements for the able-bodied.
“We want to give states even greater flexibility in innovating and creating the kind of health care solutions that work for their population,” he said.
Pence said they are going to concentrate on repealing much of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act “right out of the gate.”
Why is Ryan pushing for this when Trump has Obamacare on his plate and when he promised Americans he wouldn’t overhaul Medicare. It might need overhauling but a promise was made.