House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says contrary to what Democrats are saying, it is Obamacare — not his budget plan — that will kill Medicare. Ryan also said Thursday on Fox News he has no interest in running for president in 2012, as he has enough on his plate trying to pass the budget.
“Obamacare kills Medicare as we know it,” Ryan said. “Obamacare raids $500 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare, puts in place a [15-member] board to ration Medicare. Our budget repeals the raiding, gets rid of the rationing board, preserves this program — makes no changes for a person 55 years of age or older, and saves Medicare.
Ryan told Fox News’ Bret Baier the House GOP plan reforms Medicare “for our generation, so that it’s solvent.”
“The president’s plan does not save Medicare — it lets it go bankrupt — rations the program and raids the program,” he said. “We get rid of the rationing, we stop the raiding, and we save the program from bankruptcy.”
Ryan said Democrats are measuring the GOP plan “against a mythical future — a fiscal fantasy, which is a collapsing system. If we don’t fix Medicare it goes bankrupt.”
“What we are trying to do here is give seniors more choices and have more competition to bring down . . . prices,” he continued, adding that private companies will drive down healthcare costs. “What we’re saying is, [have] a system of choice and competition — where Medicare sets up a list of competitive plans — guaranteed coverage options that seniors choose from, for 54-year-olds and below — and Medicare subsidizes those plans.
“It’s the same system I’ve had as a congressman — it’s the same plan that President Bill Clinton’s bipartisan commission to save Medicare recommended,” Ryan said. “This is what we are proposing for 54 and below.”
Switching to the 2012 presidential election, Baier said there has been some talk about Ryan running for president; the House Budget Committee chairman said he was not interested.
“I’m really not,” Ryan said. “I really believe I can do more for this cause where I am right now as chairman of the House Budget Committee — I have no plans to [run] — it takes a tremendous undertaking to do this, and right now, where I am at this moment, in the budget fight we are in, I just believe I need to focus on this budget fight.”
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