House Speaker Paul Ryan is planning a push to overhaul Medicare next year.
In an interview with Fox News, the Wisconsin Republican said efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare will also necessitate changes to Medicare and Medicaid because the 2010 health law also affects those programs.
“When Obamacare became Obamacare, Obamacare rewrote Medicare, rewrote Medicaid, so if you’re going to repeal Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well,” Ryan said during Thursday’s interview.
After a meeting yesterday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), President-elect Donald Trump said health care is one of his top three priorities for next year.
Ryan, a former chairman of the House Budget and House Ways and Means committees, has long eyed large-scale changes to Medicare. As Budget Committee chairman he proposed a premium support model for Medicare, saying it would strengthen and support the program for years.
During the Fox interview, Ryan referenced the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a unit created under the Affordable Care Act that has not yet been invoked but would be tasked with finding savings for Medicare. Ryan has called for eliminating the board as part of an Obamacare repeal in the “Better Way” policy agenda Republicans introduced earlier this year.
Trump hasn’t said much about how he’d like to see Medicare changed, but his transition team’s website says his administration will “modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond.”
Ryan on Thursday said Trump has indicated he will support the “Better Way” agenda.
“Donald and I spoke about this today,” Ryan said. “We’re on the same page on these things. And it resembles exactly the same kinds of reforms that he was talking about.”