Paul Ryan: “We Are Hosed” if Entitlement Reform Doesn’t Happen

Despite my past distaste for Speaker Ryan, I have to grudgingly admit he did a good job on tax reform and managed to get health care through the House, even if it ultimately failed in the Senate.

Now, the Speaker is gearing up to try to push through entitlement reform. I wish him the best of luck, and I do really mean that without an ounce of sarcasm:

President Donald Trump ran on a vow to not cut benefits for Medicare, but House Speaker Paul Ryan said he thinks that is still an “open question.”

“From all my conversations with the President, he says ‘I don’t want to change Medicare benefits for people in or near retirement,’ and we agree with that,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters in his Capitol suite Tuesday morning.

Ryan has long pushed for reforming Medicare to keep that system solvent, but he also argues strongly changing the big ticket entitlement is the only way to really rein in deficit spending.

“I’ve been a big time entitlement reformer for a long time because if you don’t start bending the curve in the out years, we are hosed,” Ryan said bluntly Tuesday morning.

In the short term, the one entitlement Republicans are planning on changing is Obamacare, the signature health care law from Trump’s predecessor. Coalescing around a GOP plan to do that continues to be a challenge.

“He’s going to be very helpful,” Ryan said of what the President will say about health care in his address to Congress on Tuesday night.