Congressman Paul Ryan on the healthcare reform legislation recently signed into law and what needs to be done with it.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), one of his party’s top voices on fiscal matters, calls the newly passed health reform plan a “fiscal Frankenstein” that will “make insurance more expensive,” providing an opening for the GOP to push for a partial repeal.
Ryan, the top Republican on the House budget committee, said the plan will help “a very small segment of the population,” such as people with pre-existing conditions, but make life more expensive for “the vast majority of the population.”
“What matters to people is: Are their premiums going up or are their premiums going down?” Ryan said in an interview as his Capitol Hill office for the POLITICO video series, “Health Care Diagnosis.”
Ryan, who calls himself “a numbers guy” and resists talking about political strategy, said he’ll be pushing for what he calls a “repeal and replace” approach to rolling back the law Obama signed on Tuesday.
“You’re going to see sticker shock,” Ryan said. “You’re going to see lots of premium increases. You’re going to see people in the individual market losing their premiums, losing their insurance. … All brokers of insurance are gone in a year, in my personal opinion.”
“Obviously we’re not for keeping this law,” he continued. “We should repeal it and replace it with reform … but not just to go back to the status quo that we knew yesterday. That wasn’t sustainable, either. We’ve been saying all along we want to fix what’s broken in healthcare without breaking what’s working in healthcare. So repeal and replace it with something better.”
Asked if Republicans had overplayed their hands with dire claims about the plan, Ryan replied: “The problem I see with this bill is: Is this bill socialized medicine today? No, but it think it clearly puts us on the trajectory for that. … So what I’m worried about is in our nation, we’re reaching a tipping point in this country where more Americans are more worried about their government benefits and dependencies than they are about their own securities. … They’re more relying on the government for their livelihoods than they do on themselves.” (Source: Politico)
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