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

    When the GOP decides to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies, then we
    will have a good start on reducing health care costs.
    Unless they are willing to quit padding the pockets of these companies, (and their own pockets) we won't
    get anywhere with this.
    And, how about Congress pay for their own health care out of their salaries that they obviously don't earn.
    Let's see a little "sacrifice" coming out of Washington for a change.

    March 10, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. They call me joe.....

    From the looks of it. If majority wins on the Republican side, then its democracy that all of America wanted. But if majority wins on the Democratic side then it does not mean that it's what America wanted. I see now.......

    March 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. tammyk tammy

    Ryan touts that the GOP won the senior vote. Yes you did – by promising that no changes would be made to their Medicare benefits. The problem with relying on the current crop of seniors as your voting base is that they are a dying breed who might not be around for the next election. Most of us who are under 55 see what you are trying to take away from us. We will likely be around in 2014 and 2016 and will vote according to our best interests, and not for the best interests of the insurance conglomerate that would leave us without the care enjoyed by our parents and grandparents. Hold your ground President Obama and history will thank you just like today's seniors should thank FDR for the care and security that they have today.

    March 10, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It looks like there will be no BUDGET for at least the next two years and maybe not until people with some sense get elected. There are two schools of thought out ther. One, take care of yourself and keep more money in your pocket. The other, send ALL of your money to the Giovernment and let them dole it out to you for your subsistance. That is called the Nanny State. It worked real well in the Old Soviet Union. So well that there is no more Soviet Union.

    Welfare belongs in the States. So send obama care to the dumptser where it belongs. OR, send all your money up to the Liberal's that have your BEST interests at heart. You believe that, don't you ??

    March 10, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Lynn

    Go Ryan! Get rid of this huge socialist takeover of our free Country that was forced down our throats. Show us the Republican party still has a spine.....sure would make a tingle go down mine.

    March 10, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. JG

    This is posturing. He knows Obamacare isn't getting repealed. He's wasting congressional time and American tax dollars with this nonsense. But that's what the republicans do. And apparently some people elect them to do just that. I guess the real blame here is with ignorant voters.

    March 10, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    So he's basically saying that he knows it won't pass so he'll try to score some cheap political points by saying they're going to defund Obamacare. Some leader.

    March 10, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Shane

    Obamacare needs to go. It isn't my responsibility to pay for other peoples healthcare...Go to school, get educated, and get a job that offers medical insurance!

    March 10, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. JBHedgehog

    So, he's refusing to pay for a law that's been confirmed by congress? It makes the mind swim how stupid this man (party) is.

    March 10, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Ben

    Repeal Obamacare and replace it with what? GO back to the way it was before Obamacare, when premiums rose faster every year than they do now? Go back to letting people with pre-existing conditions just die? Go back to letting the insurance companies decide who gets covered and how much it will cost?

    Come on, Ryan. Repealing Obamacare isn't a paln. IT's just obstruction. Let's hear about your healthcare plan to replace Obamacare. Oh? You don't have a plan? I thought so.

    March 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Name Catmandew

    We will all see if Obama will hold our country's economy hostage for his unreasonable healthcare plan or try to move forward. More than 50% did not want his healthcare plan to begin with. Ryan's budget will clear the deficit in about 10 years and our grandchildren won't have to pay for near as much of Obama's poorly concieved agenda. Still amazes me that all the people that want this healthcare haven't noticed it won't cover our leaders that should tell how good it is!

    March 10, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. RAM

    Very irresponsible for Ryan to propose a budget based on an assumption that a law will be repealed unless he knows he can back it up. His party has tried everything right up the Supreme Court and couldn't get it overturned. Unless he knows he has the votes to repeal he's simply wasting our time with yet another grandstanding move. At the current speed of the Boehner lead Congress an action major enough to overturn that would probably take only 20-30 years possibly more if any other GOP leaders would want to filibuster their own bill like the GOP leader in the Senate.When is the GOP going to wake up and take their party back from these frauds? I know Ryan is considered one of the brightest of the current GOP but remember this is the current party of Bachman, Perry, Cain, Palin.

    March 10, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Seth

    Get over it. It's the law and it's not going anywhere. Oh yeah, get over it.

    March 10, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Linda

    Did any of you people read Obamacare? You are not guaranteed insurance. Even if you do get it if you have a preexisting condition it is still going to cost you an arm and a leg. Where is Obamacare any better? Also you think that in Obamacare it doesn't decide who lives and dies? Who gets the treatment and who doesn't. If they feel you are too old and sick than they will not spend the money on you. Read it. You will see. There is going to be a board of people who are not even doctors who are going to decide whether you get treatment or not and whether they want to spend the money or not. Why do you think Canadians comes to America to get certain things done? They have to wait to get surgery and could die before they ever get it.

    The solution to the problem is to educate people on how they can keep themselves healthy. There should be incentives for the people who take care of themselves and prevent sickness. That is the biggest part of the problem in this country is that people do whatever they want and eat all the junk and expect to stay healthy. Healthcare is not prescribing drugs for a quick fix that only causes other problems.

    Healthcare is teaching people how they can prevent illness. Too many people don't want to change their lives to get healthier. I worked for the government and saw people on oxygen and still smoking and tax payers were paying for their oxygen and healthcare. Why. They want to kill themselves let them. I am sorry but when are we going to start taking responsibility for their decisions in life.

    March 10, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. freedom

    "We believe that Obamacare is a program that will not work."
    Obama, Pelosi and the democrats – without one single vote from the republicans – and ignoring the American people – rammed this through. It is a monster of an overhaul that will tax citizens to death – literally.

    March 10, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Larry the liberal

    The Republican just don't get it. Obama Care is here to stay.


    March 10, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    Be sure and click those ruby slippers 3 times, Princess.

    March 10, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Matt

    So, Paul Ryan admits that he isn't a serious lawmaker. A serious lawmaker would accept Obamacare as law, given the other chamber and the Presidency, and proceed from there.

    March 10, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Mark

    WHAT A SORE LOSER. Acting like he is even relevent. Him an Romney lost big and they still don't get it. Corporations have be dropping health care from there employees and fewer are offering medical along with higher premiums and this contry needs a great health care program. I garantee if the Senaters and reps losrt there federal Insurance for themselves and thier families. Until they came up with a good plan for the American people, They would get it done in a week. The plans should be the same ones they would have. PS. I didn't read about him addressing the prescripion Gov. drug plan. You know negotiating prices and saving money foor the tax payers. That has really added to the Debt over the last decade. Just Losers trying to distract us from the facts.

    March 10, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Just when I thought the GOP might be serious on getting the budget crisis solved...

    March 10, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Joseph

    Perhaps Ryan's House Budget should include pink ponies for all and a moon colony. That would make as much sense and perhaps even stand a greater chance of getting through the Senate.

    March 10, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. t

    ..Sequester is HERE.......SOLEY DUE TO Republicans REFUSAL to chop SPECIAL INTERESTS, Multi National Corporations (Exxon is one of many),....and BILLIONAIRES......SPECIAL TAX LOOP HOLES............

    March 10, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Jim_Smythe

    Talk about silly.

    No one in America can take this seriously.

    2012 was the mandate on Health Care and the GOP lost.

    Ryan needs to get serious

    March 10, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Taxpayer

    Obama barely managed to forced Obamacare through very strong opposition. Since then, its cost estimates went up. It is time to reexamine Obamacare.

    March 10, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Martha in CF

    Ryan-the out of touch redumblican–forgets who won the last presidential election. You were beat out Ryan–forget you stupid plans. The American people are tired of it. The health care industry is so far out of touch with the needs of the American people that the price of health care is unreachable from a great majority of us.........it is corrupt, too many making millions of dollars at the top.
    Ryan needs to shut up!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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