It’s been obvious for a long time that stripping millions of Americans of their health care coverage is a dream come true for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He basically just admitted as much to National Review editor Rich Lowry at that paper’s Ideas Summit, as well as that he started dreaming of this noble action during his partying frat boy days in college.
Here is the interesting exchange between Lowry and Ryan:
Lowry: You have been very clear for years—and we’ve seen compelling PowerPoint presentations—about how the entitlements and entitlements growing out of control is driving the country into a ditch on the debt. And we have a president of the United States who basically seems pledged not to touch entitlements. Where does that leave us?
Ryan: So, the health care entitlements are the big, big, big drivers of our debt. There are three. Obamacare, Medicaid, and Medicare. Two out of three are going through Congress right now. So, Medicaid—sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate. We’ve been dreaming of this since you and I were drinking out of a keg.
Lowry: I was thinking about something else, he was thinking about reforming Medicaid.
Ryan: I was, I was! I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. We are on the cusp of doing something we’ve long believed in.
While Ryan and Lowry were getting sloshed with their frat brothers, Medicaid was helping millions and millions of poor Americans meet their basic health needs.
The prospect of so many being dropped from Medicaid and states footing a much larger share of Medicaid’s bills has spooked more moderate Republicans across the country—the majority of states where the federal government currently spends more than average on state Medicaid programs are deep red and 16 states with GOP governors took up the Medicaid expansion. It remains to be seen if the chance to fulfill Paul Ryan’s lifelong dream of denying the poor government insurance might tug at their heartstrings.
What a swell guy.