Rep. Ryan: Dems quietly like my budget plan privatizing Medicare, Medicaid

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) claimed this week that some Democrats are supportive of his sweeping blueprint to balance the budget — just not publicly.

Appearing on Fox News Thursday, the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, conceded that ideological differences between the parties have led many Democrats to oppose his balanced budget plan, which would privatize Medicare and Medicaid. “But I’ve also had Democrats who say, ‘If it weren’t so political I would go for this,’” he said.

“When the microphones are turned off, I’ve gotten great response from Democrats,” Ryan said. “The problem is we have this political paralysis.”

Under Ryan’s plan, dubbed the Roadmap for America’s Future, those younger than 55 today would receive vouchers to purchase private insurance coverage in lieu of having Medicare’s single-payer coverage kick in when they hit 65. 

The benefits would be means-tested, meaning the vouchers would be adjusted to reflect the wealth of the beneficiary. Ryan’s bill would also tweak Medicare eligibility, raising the eligibility age incrementally to nearly 70.

“I don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock,” he told Fox.