Missing from Ryan's prescription to end the shutdown: Obamacare
October 8th, 2013
10:06 PM ET
12 months ago

Missing from Ryan's prescription to end the shutdown: Obamacare

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin broke his relative silence on the ongoing government shutdown in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published online late Tuesday night.

Ryan - the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012 and the chairman of the House Budget Committee - argues in the editorial that in order to "end this stalemate," Democrats and Republicans should focus on "modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code."

"Right now, we need to find common ground," Ryan wrote. "We need to open the federal government. We need to pay our bills today – and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let's negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code."

Not once, however, does Ryan mention tying Obamacare - President Barack Obama's signature health care law - with funding the government. By doing so, Ryan appears to distance himself from many House Republicans who are demanding that the passage of a continuing resolution be contingent on the health care law being tweaked or delayed – the first step in an effort they hope to use to dismantle it.

Instead of mentioning Obamacare, the Republican congressman focuses on forced spending cuts on domestic and military programs – known as the sequester - and reforms to Medicare.

The government has been shut down since last week, with House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House unable to agree on a funding bill. The president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have said that the GOP's efforts to alter Obamacare are a non-starter.

Ryan's Obamacare omission appeared to anger conservatives, who took to Twitter in response.

Amanda Carpenter, a speechwriter and senior communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted, "There is one big word missing from this op-ed. It's start with an O and ends with BAMACARE."

"Much like White House press, Paul Ryan doesn't mention Obamacare in WSJ oped," tweeted Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative group Heritage Action.

Conservative activist Erick Erickson retweeted the following tweet: "It seems like Paul Ryan has successfully pissed off the right."

Ryan's focus on spending and entitlement reforms was also a substantial part of his platform for vice president last year.

Since Mitt Romney, the GOP's presidential nominee, lost the 2012 election, Ryan has been rumored to be a presidential candidate in 2016. Ryan's opinion piece puts him at odds with other possible Republican hopefuls, such as Cruz and Marco Rubio of Florida.

"This is our moment to get a down payment on the debt and boost the economy," Ryan wrote. "If we miss this moment, the debt will spiral out of control. … We can do some good. All it takes is leadership – and for the president to come to the table."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Health care • Paul Ryan
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Funny thing. Barack Obama voted IN FAVOR OF two government shutdowns while he was serving as Senator. Batta Boom Batta Bing

    October 8, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Paul Ryan a/k/a the "Thirsty Sidekick" is not honest enough (as proven by his past lies), to try and do what's right for the American people. To Ryan, this is yet another opportunity to try and get Medicare slashed along with other quality "entitlements" (of which he wouldn't be warming the chair he does today) or his family living the lifestyle they greatly enjoy. The consolation is once the gods of the TP get through with him, I don't expect him to have anything else to say on this subject.

    October 8, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Tony

    Republicans, whether you realize it or not, you bargaining chip disappears after October 17th. If a default occurs, what leverage do you have left?

    October 8, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. Name Uche Agonsi

    Ryan had some factors going for his thoughts, viz.....he was VP nominee to Romney credited for ACA concept, he is a financier, and seems equally reasonable to know that potential leaders are rather not destructive. I wish the rest Repubs that are opposed to this shutdown should be more vocal too.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. quiltedthrifted

    Little Eddie Munster is trying to position himself against the cra cra people. Please Proceed Congressman.....or should I now call you the Badger State Rhino...too delicious.....Please proceed Republicans...I want more candy.

    October 8, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  6. Marco

    I believe Paul Ryan's comments are more reasonable to bring the President to negotiate about any thing that can help to reduce the deficit and also move the economy in right direction. It will be irresponsible to let U.S. default and suffer next few decades and let other countries such as China take control of the world monetary policy. It will be shameful for the leadership – Congress and White House.

    October 8, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  7. wendel

    I guess this is the tactic if Obama care didn't work now it is spending cuts. DO people really think raising the debt limit is raising the debt??? unfortunate terms. Congress has already spent this money and needs to pay for it.

    October 8, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    Maybe I AM mistaken. Maybe Mittens IS POTUS, and Eddie is VP........

    October 8, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  9. Justjean

    There is literally not time to work out some sort of modest grand bargain. These guys have all year, every year to work together and look for common ground. Now is not the time. The GOP will get nothing from the senate or Obama. As McCain says, elections have consequences. The consequence this time is that we have a grownup in the whitehouse who is not going to do rash things or be jerked around by a minority of extremists at the expense of the nation. Future Presidents will be glad for this. As for unpleasant outcomes from shutdown, this is what happens when you shut stuff down. The house needs to send a clean CR...they are already getting all the sequester cuts, and let the country function.

    October 9, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. king

    i hope the president dont throw his obamacare to the wolves and put 30 million peopple without heathcarr, and allow big insurance companies to commence dragging the american people.

    October 9, 2013 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  11. Maripil

    Paul Ryan is MIA as he does not want to be seen with the same wacky republicans that he is!!

    October 9, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Hello CNN what weed are you on?? He talks entitlement cuts which would include PPACA or some over arching change to Medicare or Medicaid as he has done before effectively undermining PPACA.
    get real stop reporting thing as title s to an article he never actually said just did not reference it directly.
    Smart, and he will be a 2016 front runner for the Republican Presidential nominee. Cruz, Christie, Rubio or the Texas governor Perry, will not get it or any other overtly leaning Tea party activist candidate.. the Grand Ole part of the GOP will see to that.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    October 9, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  13. Jan and

    Yes you want everything you wanted when you ran for VP you lost now you want to get it by holding country hostage and call it regular way to do business... You lost.. Don't give in MR. President we voted for you not Romney/Ryan.

    October 9, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  14. DaveW

    If you were a fellow congressman, would you trust Paul Ryan? I could trust Jon Huntsman but I could never trust this guy. Donald Trump is more trustworthy than this guy. I could trust Ollie North before I could trust Paul Ryan.

    October 9, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  15. Marie MD

    This loser is still around?
    Maybe he can go back to work at McDonald's. Oh right, he's a millionaire. He doesn't need to work and he has medical insurance and a fat pension for life thanks to the same taxpayers he is trying to $ crew!

    October 9, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  16. kirk

    Pppssstttt...you lost, remember, losing means you don't get to set the rules . Nice article on the news, where wasmitch old boy at yesterday? Rwnj, he was busy corrupting the system further.he was arguing a case in supreme court soon, basically he is removing all restrictions on campaign donations, time for you gop supporters to weigh the consequences of a gop controlled government, seriously! This is not good for democracy, regardless of party affiliation

    October 9, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  17. Gurgyl

    Why not you ban earmarks? If you are dare enough to do so–do it now,.

    October 9, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  18. Minnie Mouse

    Your not missing a prescriptions because here's my common sense one and written for all of you. You all need it because your all guilty of it, including the President.

    "NO ONE PARTY, NO ONE PERSON, NO ONE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS GIVEN THE RIGHT TO ADD OR RECIEVE SPECIAL INTERESTS OR CONESSIONS TO ANYTHING, REGARDLESS IF IT'S A LAW THAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE OR TO A BILL THAT YOUR ARE TRYING TO PUT INTO PLACE OR JUST TAKE A SIMPLE VOTE OF YES OR NO"

    The reason why something like this needs to be put into place, it's because there's to much controversy and contradiction in our government. Things that are happening should not be happening, like all of these that I am listing.

    1. The "Affordable Care Act", it was changed after it was ruled constitutional in 2010. Now everyone has to abide by the law (individuals and all health insurance providers) but business who have 50 or more employees they get a free pass for one year. This law was not written that way, someone changed it.

    2. Student Loans, you borrow money for the loan, you repay back the note plus interest. Now we have "Forgiveness Loans" for special groups of degrees that should not be happening either. Anyone who borrows, needs to repay regardless to what profession they decide to major in. No one gets hand outs on Student Loans. These are "LOANS" not "PELL GRANTS.

    3. Anyone who takes out a small business loan, needs to repay the loan. If it's not ok to file a student loan in a bankruptcy then it's should also be not ok to file a business loan in a bankruptcy either. In a small business loan they get to claim the loan in the bankruptcy but a student loan you cannot.

    The lists goes on ect..........

    All special interests and concessions, are doing nothing but driving up our country's debt and unfairness in our country to where as a government you can't find common grounds to anything.

    Yes, a law needs to be made to force all of you to stop doing it!!!!

    October 9, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  19. Mike

    I would love to see Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas run for President. It would be interesting to see how the Tea Party would spin their support for him knowing he was born in Canada, after all the crap they stirred up about President Obama not being born in this country. How could they say they are a credible party if they nominated someone like him?

    October 9, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  20. ep tor

    He's playing it very smart. He knows Obamacare is here to stay, 10's of millions will be on it. He knows anyone running on a platform to take it away would be decimated at the polls. It would be as suicidal as running on a platform of taking away Medicare. I used to think he didn't have a snowballs chance but he's either lying to deceive people or he's actually conceding the Obamacare is here to stay, which it is. 2016 may actually be a fight.

    October 9, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  21. boungiorno

    god speed on delicate choices that affect us all

    October 9, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  22. kirk

    Love the Ryan plan, for every dollar he gives in tax breaks ( handouts) to the rich, he is willing to make up by cutting your social security, great guy, great plan, KNOW THY ENEMY. If we don't wake up, realize you have but one chance to get them out, a gop controlled government, would be an end to your rights as you know them, and our country as well. When you see what the rich mans plan is, it's hard to swallow, crash the economy, your wages, your rights its already happening now on women's and minorities in gop controlled states

    October 9, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |