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.
Health-care entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid "are the big drivers of debt", Ryan said, "so we spend more time on the health care entitlements, because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking".
As evidenced by a 2015 tweet, President Donald Trump pledged as a candidate not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, but the GOP's legislative attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have slashed Medicaid funding drastically.
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"I think the president is understanding choice and competition works everywhere, especially in Medicare", Ryan said.
House and Senate Republicans are now working on their plans for tax reform, which are estimated to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit.
"Tax reform grows the economy", Ryan said. "The first one passed the House, failed the Senate, this one, both tax bills have passed the House and the Senate, we're on track with that, and then next year we're going to have to get back at entitlement reform".
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Ryan also mentioned that he wants to work on changing the welfare system, and Republicans have in the past expressed a desire to add work requirements to programs such as food stamps.
His comments were echoed by Ryan. "We have a welfare system that's basically trapping people in poverty and effectively paying people not to work, and we've got to work on that".
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