Ryan says House GOP budget will include Obamacare repeal
March 10th, 2013
11:46 AM ET
2 years ago

Ryan says House GOP budget will include Obamacare repeal

(CNN) – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the budget he will unveil this week counts on a repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health reform law, a position which is unacceptable to many Democrats and unlikely to become law.

Asked on "Fox News Sunday" about the political reality that a repeal of Obamacare is unlikely, Ryan responded, "Well, we believe it should, that's the point. That's what budgeting is all about. … It's about making tough choices to fix our country's problems. We believe that Obamacare is a program that will not work."

The Wisconsin Republican has taken aim at the program in previous budget proposals and on the 2012 campaign trail as the GOP vice presidential nominee.

While he supports the overturn of that program, Ryan factored another of the president's policy successes into his budget: the tax increases Democrats included in the fiscal cliff deal back in January. At the time, Republicans argued against the increases, saying they would hurt employment, small businesses and the broader economy.

"The new baseline reflects the fiscal cliff, which is higher revenues, and lower spending, making it easier to balance," he said. "We don't want to refight the fiscal cliff. That's current law. That's not going to change."

The added revenue means Ryan's budget would eliminate the federal deficit in 10 years. Previous House GOP budgets have projected that it would take 25 years to balance the budget.

Ryan said his budget will increase federal spending on average 3.4% each year over the 10-year period, but that is $5 trillion less than the current 4.9% rate of federal government growth over the period, he said.

His plan would include the forced spending cuts known as the sequester, which became law under the 2011 Budget Control Act, but only for the next two years. Those cuts were implemented at the beginning of this month and amount to $85 billion this year and a total of $1.2 trillion over the decade. Ryan proposed eliminating those cuts to defense programs in his budget last year. Republicans have supported overriding the sequester's broad cuts to defense and giving the Obama administration discretion to choose how to save the sum of money.

Ryan gave reporters a preview of his budget on Wednesday and is expected to release it this week.

At the same time, he backed off a proposal to make changes to Medicare for people under the age of 57. He and other Republicans have repeatedly said their proposals would not change the program for people over the age of 55, and setting the bar at 57 could open him to political criticism. GOP aides said an analysis of the two-year difference showed it would not save the federal government a significant amount of money.

"This guarantees that Medicare does not change for people in or near retirement, and it also guarantees for those of us who are under the age of 55 that we actually have a Medicare program when we retire," Ryan said on Sunday.

Ryan proposes replacing the current system with a traditional Medicare option alongside other options. Seniors would receive support from the government toward paying their premium based on their income level and health, he has indicated.

Democrats generally do not support such a model. Ryan disputed that his party was hurt by the issue in the presidential campaign, saying, "We won the senior vote. I did dozens of Medicare town hall meetings in states like Florida, explaining how these are the best reforms to save and strengthen the Medicare program, and we're very confident that this is the way to go."

Ryan, who met last week with Obama, said on Fox the prospects of the president and congressional Republicans working together will be "based on how he conducts himself in the coming weeks and months."

"This is the first time I've ever had a conversation with the president that lasted more than two minutes or televised exchanges. So I've never really had a conversation with him on these issues before," he said, saying he was "excited" that this "frank" conversation over lunch took place.

"Will he resume the campaign mode? Will he resume attacking Republicans and impugning our motives? Will he resume what is long believed to be a plan to win the 2014 elections? Or will he sincerely change and try and find common ground, try and work with Republicans to get something done? That's what we hope happens," Ryan added.

This week, Obama is scheduled to speak to members of both parties on Capitol Hill.

As to his own interest in running for the White House, Ryan said his vice presidential bid was "a very positive experience" and "made it (a White House run) more realistic in my mind - it's something that I much better understand."

He signaled that a bid for the presidency would be more likely than a run for top legislative positions, saying, "If I wanted to be in elected leadership, like speaker, I would have run for these jobs years ago."

– CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Dana Bash contributed to this report


Filed under: Budget • Paul Ryan
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Ben Lauder

    "1% is how much Obama won by in popular vote! That is not a landslide as y'all would like to say. Over 50% of the people did not want Obamacare to begin with !"

    Lies don't work well in the age of information. If you want to try to convince people you will have to use the truth.

    March 10, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Larry L

    "Lyin' Ryan" is at it again. Obamacare was a Republican plan from the Heritage Foundation – used by Romney and only "hated" when it became a campaign issue. Republican opposition made it less effective but it's still the best hope for everybody but the ultra-rich – Ryan's sugar daddies. Republicans offer nothing to help the huge healthcare crisis but handing Medicare over to Wall Street. Do you trust Wall Street with your healthcare costs? Ryan does... I wonder why?...

    March 10, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Ben Lauder

    Obama won the popular vote by 3% which IS a landslide.

    March 10, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. w l jones

    If we had thinker in place write the budject off as a lost declare it balance and move on.

    March 10, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. emma

    It looks as though the GOP leaders are doing everything they can to prevent our country from moving forward. And they do not seem to take into account the reality of the world being different in the present.

    March 10, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Ken

    I don't get it. The GOP wants everyone in this country to have control over their healthcare, but we pay for theirs. I could care less about Obamacare because I pay for my insurance. If they want to repeal it, they should pay for their own healthcare also, they can definitely afford it. Cut all healthcare cost when it comes to government sponsered healthcare, but keep healthcare for children. Cut Obamacare...cut Congresscare. Why does everyone have to sacrifice and congress continue to have more. The GOP can give a lame excuse why they should have it and we shouldn't. Have they explain that.

    March 10, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. USwatcher

    Lyin' Ryan and the GOP are just wrong for America...which is why they lose elections.

    March 10, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. stevetall

    Still comletely out-of-touch. Paul Ryan is a good example of what's wrong with our public education system. How did this guy ever graduate from high school without being able to think clearly? Sheesh!

    March 10, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. The REAL TRUTH...

    If I recall correctly.. the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same process and expecting a different outcome.
    To whit.. this stupid budget plan. Nothing has changed. It won't balance the budget nor the Nat'l Debt for 30 yrs.

    Coming from someone who has been suckling at the public teat his entire adult life, it's ironice that this is the individual who's ultra-neocon views espouse no help for anyone.

    March 10, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Jules

    Right – there's a starter for negotiations. Repeal the Affordable Care Act. As ususal, the GOP just can't get serious.

    March 10, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Jules

    Dear Paul Ryan – you and Mitt ran on repealing the Affordable Care Act. You lost – that's why your still in the House – did you think it was all just a bad dream? If there are things in the Affordable Care Act – fix them – no repeal.

    March 10, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Scott

    So basically Paul Ryan is admitting he doesn't know how to govern. Yet again pushing through a bill that has no chance in hell of actually becoming law and will only serve to antagonize the other party. USA USA!

    March 10, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Jules

    Ryan, who met last week with Obama, said on Fox the prospects of the president and congressional Republicans working together will be "based on how he conducts himself in the coming weeks and months."

    Are you kidding me? It will be based on how you conduct yourself in the coming weeks and whether or not you plan your budget around repealing the Affordable Care Act. Ryan cannot possibly be this stupid.

    March 10, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. BeverlyNC

    The Ryan budget is a total content and economic failure. It calls for the destruction of ALL government programs and agencies, kills Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It leaves the poor, as Scrooge would say, "to die and decrease the surplus population".
    The CBO has analyzed what it can of the Ryan plan, because the Plan makes so many assumptions, there are only parts of it that can be truly vetted. From what the CBO can discern, it would take more than 30 years for the Ryan budget to balance our government budget yet it does not account for all the damage it does to our nation;'s infrastructure, education system, all healthcare, food and drug safety, medical and scientific research, loss of jobs, how far behind we would become in the global marketplace, and the utter chaos of record poverty.

    In other words, the Ryan plan's math does not add up and destroys our nation more than cures its economic survival. It is also devoid of our basic American values, morals, and humanity towards our own People.

    March 10, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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