Ryan says House GOP budget will include Obamacare repeal
March 10th, 2013
11:46 AM ET
1 year 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. HenryMiller

    The sooner we can rid the country of the fiscal and medical disaster of Obamacare, the better. Over half of us never wanted it in the first place, over half are aware that it's going to be a quick in the teeth for the quality of American medicine, and about two-thirds know it's going drive the cost of healthcare up–that last has already started.

    Most of the point of Obamacare is Obama's fake "fairness" doctrine: if everyone can't have access to first-rate medicine, no one should be allowed to have access to first-rate medicine, and if anyone can't afford even mediocre medicine, someone else ought to be forced to pay for it.

    March 10, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Yanni

    These guys must be crazy. I blame it on Faux they must have leaving on the planet of Fox. Rather than finding a new solution they try two undone the low of the land

    March 10, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Name Catmandew

    Obamacare needs to be repealed and the rest looks good also. So now I wonder how long it will be before our fearless leader denounces it as bad for the country. It makes Obama's agenda look bad for our country! Finally someone with since has a budget and Obama harm he has already done might get reversed, there is hope after all!

    March 10, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Change comes slowly to the Republican/Tea Party. Even after a crushing presidential election defeat, Rep Ryan is still in denial. Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act is just a pipe dream.

    March 10, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Enough of this repeal humiliation. Didn't this guy get it out of last Election results? He lacks BRAIN to think. Ignore this guy–totally inexperienced in life and congress.

    March 10, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Thomas

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan in in favorer of privatizing Social security .

    Dose this idiot , bought and payed for corporate male Michele Bachmann impersonator understand that most Americans can't afford medical insurance ?

    Ryan , you are so out of touch with America.

    March 10, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. TNPatriot

    This guy (Ryan) is still completely Out of Touch with Americans. Time for this Koch brothers puppet to go back to his Sat. morning cartoon show.

    March 10, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Name Catmandew

    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 so it seems that it may have to go by the wayside till a better time and a better solution come along. Ryan's solution to budget sounds like the best idea so far my grandchildren won't have to pay for Obama's loser agenda got my approval just for that!

    March 10, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Yanni

    These guys must be crazy. I blam it on Faux they must have living on the planet of Fox. Rather than finding a new solution they try two undone the law of the land

    March 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. L.Sanfod

    Why even bother to report anything this idiot says. He is out to destroy the middle class and poor, enrich the richest and foist his extreme social values of this country. The GOP lost and will never win another presidential election if this nonsense continues. Ryan and his ideas are from another time on another planet.

    March 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. JM

    This man is on a personal mission to kill medicare, can you imagine what the insurance premiums on senior would be?

    March 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. MaryM

    Ryan, you are just digging that hole deeper and deeper. You just cant seem to understand that the ACA is the law of the land now and it will not be overturned. Just like the religious right wing nut jobs trying to overturn RvW. Its not going to happen.

    March 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Dick_D

    If you are really interested in governing, why include a poison pill like that? So you can point a finger at Democrats who you know will oppose it, accusing them of being against something unrelated. The same old tired tactics from the same old tired GOP. Time to throw these bums out and move this country forward.

    March 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Man Up

    Yes, repeal and replace with a single payer system that reduces health care cost for all Americans and corporate tax rates. Germany has such a program and it works exceptionally well both there country and business.

    Absence the above would should maintain the current Affordable Health Care Act.

    March 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Grow up already...

    The sooner we get rid of theses idiotic Republicans who do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to move this country forward, the better.

    March 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. gtoy02111

    Should the GOP get its wish to repeal Obamacare, what are the alternatives for those with preexisting conditions? The hospitals and health insurance companies will play God and determine whether you should live, suffer, or just die. They don't care about human lives; they care about maximizing profit gains for their shareholders and themselves. There's no regulation of health care costs or quality of health care. That's what the GOP wants. But you know what? The GOP is right: we should repeal Obamacare. However, what should be in place is a single-payer system because remember, every American citizen has the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    March 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Phobe

    The truth usually hurts..

    March 10, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. t

    ...............and the GOP must NOT UNDERSTAND ACRONYMS............because Ryan's plan is.............DOA..!!!!

    March 10, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Lavrentii

    The Republicans have long ago turned our American health care system into a corrupting business opportunity for the money grubbing class, rather than a service like in the civilized countries of the world have. That is all one needs to know about why our system is as sick as it is now, and Ryan and his ruthless backers will never give up fighting for every nickel they can extract from sick people in America.

    Protect and increase the military budget, then give Granny a tax payer funded voucher that she can wave around on some street corner hoping that someone will offer her some or all the health care she needs in exchange. A great plan to continue bleeding the taxpayer dry and benefit the money grabbers. Same old same old.

    This guy is flat out obscene!

    March 10, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    Yanni- Only the folks that want a steady diet of Obama propaganda, with out the facts, DON'T watch Fox News. To learn what is really going on in the world, you watch it instead of criticising it.

    March 10, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Bill

    This clown remains clueless. It is the law of the land and he and his like-minded simpletons need to get over it.

    March 10, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. David

    Obamacare cuts the deficit, and stop trying to privatize social security, this does nothing but creates a new to big to fail that takes a profit cut off people's contributions and promotes risky bets on people's retirement savings.

    March 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Lee

    Well, that means the rest of the bill is dead. What a clever way to avoid coming up with a budget that might have the chance of passing by attaching something that poisons the whole thing! Irresponsibility in Congress has reached the level of becoming an art for.

    March 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Well, we know Obama will have none of that!

    March 10, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Name Catmandew

    Give Obama time he will say this is an unworkable solution. He will not pass a budget yet again and then he will claim the GOP is the problem!

    March 10, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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