House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stood firm in his commitment to push for Medicare reform in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday.
Ryan did not discuss a timeline for Medicare reform nor details, but has previously proposed replacing traditional Medicare with vouchers to purchase private insurance.
- While there is enthusiasm for Medicare reform among House Republicans, that doesn’t appear to be the case in the Senate.
In addition to the comments Ryan made on Sunday, he told Fox News last month that he would push for Medicare reforms as part of a replacement to the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this year, he released a health reform roadmap that outlining changes to Medicare.
Ryan has backed his calls for Medicare reform with claims that the program is headed toward insolvency. “Medicare goes bankrupt in about 10 years,” he told 60 Minutes. However, these claims should be taken with a grain of salt. Medicare Part A, which covers hospital insurance and is financed through payroll taxes, is only expected to have a 13% shortfall in 2028, The Washington Post reported in November. Medicare Part B, Part C, and Part D receive financing elsewhere.
Ryan and other House Republicans that want to move swiftly on Medicare reform, like nominated Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), might not have Senate support for their plans. Medicare reform could be “biting off more than we can chew,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told Politico earlier this month.