“We have a budget crisis. We’ve got a $1.5 trillion deficit. We’ve got a debt that is getting out of our control. And what do you do when you have a problem like that? You pass a budget,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Wednesday from the House floor.
His remarks came hours after a meeting between House Republicans and President Barack Obama, where Ryan reportedly took the President to task over the continued demagoguery from the left over Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare. The Washington Post reports on Ryan’s remarks following the meeting, in which he described his exchange with the President:
I simply explained what our plan is, how it works,” Ryan said, standing before a bank of cameras outside the White House. “It’s been misdescribed by the president and many others. So we simply described to him what it is we’ve been proposing so that he hears from us how our proposal works.”
Ryan brought that fiery defense of his plan to the House floor Wednesday afternoon, where he called Democrats to task for their utter failure to pass a budget, while mounting a defense of his plan’s reforms. And he also took time to set the record straight on Medicare:
Let’s for a moment talk about Medicare. Medicare as we know is already gone. Our friends on the other side of the aisle – when they passed the Affordable Care Act – stopped the Medicare status quo.
The President’s new health care law already ended Medicare as know it. It does two things: It raids Medicare; and it rations Medicare . . .
[The House plan] saves Medicare. This puts Medicare on a path to solvency. And more importantly, by saving it for future generations, we can keep our promises to current seniors.
We stop the raid. We repeal the rationing board. And we save the program. That is what our budget proposes to do.
The rationing board Ryan speaks of is the President’s plan to toughen up the bureaucracy and ratchet down Medicare payment to doctors and hospitals. Heritage’s Kathryn Nix explains where the President’s plan would lead:
The consequences of such a policy for patients would likely be reduced access to care, thus introducing the kind of health care rationing that Americans fear. The way to avoid such an outcome is to repeal the IPAB and the rest of Obamacare and then to pursue consumer-driven reforms that put patients, not bureaucrats, in charge.
By contrast, Heritage’s Robert Moffit and James Capretta write that a premium support system like the one proposed by Ryan would “give Medicare patients control over the flow of dollars and freedom to make decisions about how they access medical services. This will stimulate intense market competition among plans and providers, control costs, and promote rapid innovation and higher productivity through the efficient delivery of quality care, thus guaranteeing value in return for retiree premiums and taxpayer dollars.”
Watch the full video of Ryan’s remarks above, and let us know what you think in our comments below!