Today at the National Review Institute’s Ideas Summit, House Speaker Paul Ryan had an interesting exchange with National Review editor Rich Lowry about the AHCA’s changes to Medicaid:
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.
Ryan truly believes that the government helping low-income people can actually hurt them. As he explained during a 2014 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, social assistance programs make it less painful for people to be jobless.
“The left,” he said, “thinks this is a good thing. They say, ‘hey, this is a new freedom — the freedom not to work.’” But they’re “making a big mistake here. What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul.” Under Ryan’s health bill, if you want your kids to get medical care then you’re going to have go out there and hustle and make sure you find yourself a better, more soul-filling job. And he’s been dreaming about that kind of soul-filling for a long time.
— American Bridge (@American_Bridge) March 17, 2017