Could Trump Save Medicare?
Just a few weeks ago, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was the most miserable man in Washington.
Hillary Clinton looked like a shoo-in to win the presidential election - and polls showed that Republicans were in serious danger of losing control of the Senate - and maybe even the House.
But today the Speaker couldn't be happier.
Thanks to Donald Trump's victory on Election Day - his dream of privatizing Medicare is finally within reach.
This has been Ryan's goal for years - but he's never been able to do anything about it because Democrats controlled the White House, and until recently, the Senate.
Well - those days are over.
Starting in January - Republicans will control Congress and the Presidency together for the first time in more than a decade, and Ryan will have free reign to destroy one of the most popular -- and successful -- government programs in American history.
He started the laying the groundwork for this during a recent appearance on Fox So-Called News.
What people don't realise is because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls. Because of Obamacare, Medicare is in fiscal straits. So you have to deal with those issues if you're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has got some serious problems because of Obamacare, so those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.
Like most things involving Paul Ryan and Medicare, this is a flat out lie.
Obamacare didn't hurt Medicare - it helped it.
Since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, the projected ten-year cost of Medicare has fallen by almost $2 trillion dollars.
But Paul Ryan doesn't care.
His obsession with "entitlement reform" - also known as stopping those "undeserving" poor and working-class people from getting anything from the government, while billionaires continue to rake in billions in tax cuts and subsidies - it isn't about policy, it's about ideology, which is why he repeated the same lie about Obamacare bankrupting Medicare earlier today.
We're going to make sure that this is a very successful administration. But more importantly, we're going to make sure that the voices we heard from this election from the American people are acted upon. That we actually fix this country's problems.
You take a look at -- to get to your specific point. If you take a look at what Obamacare did to our entitlement programs, it made them worse. We're going to fix that. We're going to help fix these problems that are plaguing this country.
So - will Ryan succeed in privatizing Medicare like now he seems poised to do?
Maybe - maybe not.
The ironic part of all of this is that Donald Trump - the man who made Paul Ryan's dream of privatizing Medicare possible - ran for president on a platform of protecting the social safety net which, of course, includes Medicare.
Time after time he refused to commit to the kind of deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare to which Republicans like Paul Ryan wanted him to commit.
It's arguably one the main reasons he won the White House.
And that raises the question: just how far can Paul Ryan go in his push to privatize Medicare with Donald Trump in the White House?