GOP, Dems secretly talk Medicare, tax reform

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Paul Bedard

He won’t name names, but House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., revealed this morning that he’s meeting with Democrats to chart reforms on Medicare and taxes should President Obama get the boot in November and the GOP take over.

Medicare is his top issue and he said the two sides are “planting the seeds to reap a bipartisan solution after this election because we know it’s not going to happen before.” Pressed to dish on the Democrats, he said, “I’m not going to give you any names to protect the innocent.” He explained that they are “not wiling to cross” Obama or House and Senate Democratic leaders before the election.

But he described them as moderates interested in pushing reforms aimed at pegging benefits to income, meaning the poor get more than the rich, rather than imposing price controls on services. “We don’t have much time before a crisis hits us,” said Ryan. “You’ve got about two or three years America.”

He spoke to reporters at a Thursday Christian Science Monitor newsmaker breakfast where the topic was Obama’s budget, which panned. “It is a moral failing,” said Ryan of Obama. “But we’ve to give him credit. At lease he put out a budget,” said Ryan, in a swipe at Senate Democrats who refuse to consider a budget vote.