Oh, college! It’s a time when young adults discover their professional interests, when they live alone for the first time, when many people come into their sexuality, and when youth get to explore other adult pleasures.
And, if you were House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), it was a time to dream about how, someday, you would take health care away from millions of poor people.
In a conversation with the National Review’s Rich Lowry on Friday, Ryan bragged about how conservatives now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take health coverage away from the most vulnerable Americans.
“So Medicaid,” Ryan told Lowry, “sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate. We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg. . . . I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time. We’re on the cusp of doing something we’ve long believed in.”
Ryan is 47 years old, which means that, if he started “drinking at a keg” early in his college career, he’s fantasized about all the poor people who could be stripped of health care for nearly three decades.
Speaker Ryan’s health bill, if enacted, would lead to 24 million fewer people having health insurance by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Of those 24 million, 14 million would lose health coverage because of the changes Ryan wants to make to the Medicaid program.
An estimated 17,000 will die who otherwise would have lived in the first year Ryan’s health bill is in effect, should it become law. By 2026, that number will grow to 29,000 deaths in just one year alone.