Senator Dean Heller, speaking to a Koch front group event this past weekend:
- Heller: “Speaker Paul Ryan and I are pretty good friends.” (VIDEO)
- Heller: “I made the commitment that I would not reduce Social Security benefits, or Medicare for that matter. So, moving forward, I think everybody here in this room that has that particular concern are going to be just fine. You’ve got the commitment from the White House, and both from the Congress, or the Speaker, and also the Senate themselves.” (VIDEO)
Speaking to Ross Kaminsky on his talk radio show, the Wisconsin Republican said Wednesday that the House would be working to reform health care entitlements in 2018, calling them “the big drivers of our debt,” during a discussion about the Republican tax bill.
Ryan specifically mentioned Medicare as being the “biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform.”
As the population ages and health-care costs continue to rise, the fiscal demands on entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are projected to grow. The projected increase in the debt from the tax package could make the situation worse, budget experts say.
Republicans are also facing the possibility that the $1 trillion tax bill will trigger deep, automatic cuts to Medicare next year unless Congress stops it from happening.