Rep. Paul Ryan's Budget Assumes the Repeal of Obamacare

By Susan Jones | March 11, 2013 | 7:01 AM EDT

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (AP Photo)

( - "We think we owe the American people a balanced budget," Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on Sunday.

Ryan (R-Wis.) this week will release a plan to balance the budget in ten years -- by reducing the rate of spending growth and by repealing Obamacare and its imminent Medicaid expansions.

"Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would repeal, you assume the repeal of Obamacare?" "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Ryan.

"Yes," said Ryan.

"Well, that's not going to happen," Wallace replied.

"Well, we believe it should. That's the point," said Ryan. "This is what budgeting is 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. We believe Obamacare will actually lead to hospitals and doctors and health care providers turning people away. It's a program that basically puts Medicare under the control of 15 people on a board that will determine what kind of benefits people get. That's a rationing board, however you slice it.

"We don't think health care is going to be improved in this country. We think it's going to look ugly over the next couple of years, and that's why we're going to propose replacing Obamacare with patient-centered health care, with a better system for everybody, for the poor, for people in the states, for Medicare, so that we can actually have affordable health insurance for everybody, including people with pre-existing conditions, without costly government takeovers, which is what Obamacare represents. And yes, our budget does promote repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a better system.

Ryan's budget plan includes the $600 billion in tax increases Republicans agreed to as part of the fiscal cliff debate. It also includes $716 billion that was taken from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

"And we also propose pro-growth tax bring all rates down," Ryan said. "That's good for economic growth. That's good for job creation and hardworking taxpayers, by having less loopholes in the tax code."

In typical Washington fashion, Ryan's budget would cut spending by reducing the growing of spending.

"Instead of growing spending at 4.9 percent a year, which is the average under the current path we're on, we grow spending at 3.4 percent, each year, over the next decade. That gets us on a path to balance, and results in about a $5 trillion spending cut."

Wallace asked, "So, when you talk about cuts, you're talking about cuts in the rate of growth, not actual, absolute cuts?"

"Exactly," Ryan said. "Instead of spending $46 trillion over the next 10 years, we'll spend $41 trillion. That's means we'll grow spending on average 3.4 percent a year instead of growing it an average 4.9 percent a year, which is the path we're on, which takes us from ever balancing the budget which produces a debt crisis.

That's the problem. The president has us on a path toward a debt crisis that hurts everybody, that brings us to a recession, that gives us a European kind of experience which we want to avoid. We want people going back to work. We want higher wages, more jobs, a growing economy. We get that by balancing the budget."

Ryan called the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare "reckless." "We are pushing people, 20 million people, into a program that's failing. More and more doctors and hospitals don't even take the program. And we want to reform Medicaid by giving states the ability to customize the Medicaid program, to meet the unique needs of their Medicaid population.

Asked about his future political plans, Ryan said he has no interest in being part of the House Republican leadership. "I've always believed the better place for me is in policy leadership, like being a (committee) chairman.

"With respect to running for president, I honestly think that we have a problem right now. That's a budget mess. That's a debt crisis coming. I'm the chairman of the Budget Committee, and I represent the first district of Wisconsin. I should focus on that. That to me is the most important thing, and I shouldn't be clouding my judgment today by thinking about some political thing four years from now."