Rep. Paul Ryan said Sunday that the proposed budget he’s planning to roll out this week calls for repealing President Obama’s health care overhaul and that Republicans did not lose the argument on Medicare in the 2012 election.
“Yes, our budget does propose repealing ‘Obamacare’ and replacing it with a better system,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Mr. Ryan conceded that the $600 billion in revenues that came from the fiscal cliff deal and the $716 billion in Medicare spending reductions in the health care overhaul will help reduce the country’s long-term fiscal woes — but he said there’s an important distinction.
“You have to remember: All that money taken from Medicare was to pay for Obamacare,” he said. “We say, we get rid of Obamacare, we end the raid, and we apply those savings to Medicare to make Medicare more solvent and extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund, and we don’t want to refight the fiscal cliff.”
With a Democratic Senate and Mr. Obama’s veto pen, however, that prospect is a nonstarter. Host Chris Wallace said flatly that repealing Obamacare is not going to happen.
“Well, we believe it should,” Mr. Ryan replied. “That’s the point — this is what budgeting’s all about, Chris. It’s about making tough choices to fix our country’s problems. We believe that Obamacare is a program that will not work.”
Mr. Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, also pushed back when Mr. Wallace said Mr. Obama’s team think they won the issue last year and that they think it’s one of the reasons they won the election.
“I would argue against your premise that we lost this issue in the campaign,” Mr. Ryan said. “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. It has bipartisan support, it’s an idea that came from Democrats in the first place, and we think it’s really the best way to go.”