Unlike the average college student, who spends their university years studying to pass the next midterm or, more realistically, planning their next alcohol-drenched bacchanalia, Paul Ryan stayed focused on loftier goals: denying health-care coverage for millions of low-income and elderly Americans. Or so he implied while defending his current effort to roll back Medicaid, via his unpopular plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, while speaking with National Review editor Rich Lowry at an event Friday hosted by the conservative magazine. “Sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate,” Ryan said wistfully. “We have been dreaming of this since I have been around, since you and I were drinking at a keg.”
Now, he may finally get his wish.
To many, Ryan’s apparent delight at the idea of some 14 million Americans losing their health-care coverage over the next decade might seem cold. But Ryan is consistent, if nothing else, when it comes to his belief that the federal government should not be in the business of helping people get medical care. A longtime Ayn Rand devotee, the House Speaker has always maintained an ideological objection to federally mandated health insurance and the idea that individuals are entitled to such coverage. During an MSNBC interview on Thursday, when asked by host Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”