Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said this afternoon at the National Press Club that his committee and others will hold “lots of hearings” on Medicare and Medicaid reform during the next two years, even though he's not sure there's consensus in the Republican party to bring up legislation for a vote.
Said Ryan: "We’re gonna bring governors up to tell us about their reforms that they’ve done. We’re gonna look at Medicaid solutions. We’re going to look at all parts of the federal budget. Nothing is going to be immune from oversight and from hearings."
"I don’t know whether or not we have consensus in the party on this," he added.
Paul Gigot asked Ryan why he thinks Republicans can touch Medicare reform and survive politically when the issue has burned them in the past. “Because the economic day of reckoning is right around the corner," Ryan replied. "Because the tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities are right out there in front of us. Medicare is going insolvent later in the decade, and Medicare is the greatest cause of our debt problems.
"And because the baby boomers start retiring this year. We’re going from approximately 40 million retirees now to approximately 80 million retirees. We’re increasing the benefit-consuming generation by 100% but we’re only increasing the taxpaying generation by about 17% that pay into these programs. So we have looming insolvency."