Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee–and potential running mate of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney–told Breitbart News this week that the party’s leaders are “absolutely” committed to repealing Obamacare.
“It would have been nice for the Supreme Court to repeal it for us,” he said, “but it’s no harder today than it was the day before the decision. We win, we repeal. It’s just that simple.”
Ryan, speaking exclusively with Breitbart News, added that there was no disagreement about repealing Obamacare among the various Republican leaders, or with the Romney campaign. “Not in any of the meetings I have been having,” he said.
Earlier in the week, conservatives criticized apparently conciliatory postures by the Romney campaign and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell and Romney have since confirmed their commitment to repealing Obamacare as a first priority after the election.
Asked whether Republicans had a plan ready to replace Obamacare, Ryan pointed to several plans that had already been proposed, including his own and that of Rep.Tom Price (R-GA). While there was common agreement on the need for a “patient-centered” system, Ryan said there were “differences of opinion” on the details of an alternative, particularly on the issue of whether to use tax credits to help people buy insurance.
“I don’t think those differences will be resolved between now and the election,” Ryan said. “There will be a cacophony of ideas.” He explained that Republican leaders would introduce reforms one-by-one, following repeal of Obamacare in the 113th Congress.
“We’re not the Borg,” he quipped, referring to aliens in Star Trek who forcibly assimilate their victims. Asked how Republicans intended to respond to the charge by Democrats and the mainstream media that the party had no clear alternative to Obamacare, Ryan defended the GOP’s pluralistic approach.
“I will be talking about my own ideas, and everybody is signed up for things like interstate shopping for insurance policies, tort reform, and ending the discriminatory tax treatment between employers and employees. There is nothing wrong with that. That is not the same as doing nothing,” he said.
Ryan did not rule out the possibility that Gov. Romney might unify Republicans around a comprehensive health care alternative that included ideas from various Republican plans, and which would become part of his offer to voters in the November election.