Paul Ryan on Debt: If We Fix Healthcare, the Debt will be Fixed too

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is not the most popular of men among American conservatives these days. He and his colleagues in the House just passed the ugliest, most bloated, and destructive budget bill in American history. Since the bill was signed into law, the GOP leader has been fielding questions and concerns about how the bill seems to blow up our deficits.

Earlier this week, Ryan appeared on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo who had more of the same questions for Rep. Ryan to answer. Interestingly, Ryan was ready for a response and he lays all of the blame at the feet of our healthcare problems.

“We have to fix health care if we’re going to get away from this debt crisis. Does that mean sacrifice your military in the meantime? No. it means build your military, grow your economy…”

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Ryans says that healthcare costs are, “the key driver of our debt in the future. Which is demographically driven. It’s a combination of demographics and health care inflation. You fix health care, you fix the debt crisis.”

Here’s more:

Maria Bartiromo: So what are your expectations for these trillion-dollar deficits? I mean, you know, we’re talking about trillion dollar deficits for the next 10 years and then after a decade. Mya McGinnis (ph) —

Paul Ryan: No, no, we’re talking about it for as far as the eye can see because of demographics.

Maria Bartiromo: Exactly. Exactly. And Mya McGinnis says it’s going to be a $2 trillion deficit for a decade.

Paul Ryan: That’s right. So it’s because of demographics. It’s not the military. If we could abolish the Pentagon today, we’d still have a deficit. So we don’t want to sacrifice our military while we focus on the real drivers of the debt, which is entitlements. And that is why, and it’s really the health care entitlements, quite frankly. Social Security is a part of a solvency problem. They have a solvency problem. But nothing like we do on the health care entitlements. So that’s why we can never give up on health care reform because that is the key driver of our debt in the future, which is demographically driven. It’s a combination of demographics and health care inflation. You fix health care, you fix the debt crisis.

Maria Bartiromo: You’re saying we have to get our arms and not stop on health care at our efforts to get costs down is not enough for the markets… The markets may push your hand. We’re seeing thousand point declines. You’re seeing nervousness about these deficits.

Paul Ryan: I’ll take whatever it gets to get us to move. Like I said, we passed this bill in the House already. We’ve done this in the House. We’ve not been able to get these bills passed in the Senate, or over the finish line.

Maria Bartiromo: I mean what’s your realistic solution here?

Paul Ryan: What we tried to do was do it all in the House bill with repeal and replace. Like I said, we passed it. And that bill — one guy in the Senate did this instead of that and that — that went down. That would have been the biggest entitlement reform bill ever passed by Congress. So what are we doing? We’re going back and doing it incrementally. Going back at incremental health care reform and other entitlement reforms so we can chip away at this problem. That is what we — I think the best chance we have is going after incremental entitlement reform since the fact the Senate couldn’t pass it.

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