Tags: paul Ryan | Obamacare | subsidies | states

Paul Ryan Seeks 'Bridge Out of Obamacare' After Court Ruling

Friday, 13 February 2015 03:48 PM

House Republicans won’t agree to fix Obamacare if the Supreme Court rules that the law bars health-insurance subsidies for millions of people, said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Republicans are developing a "contingency plan" to address the states whose residents would lose subsidies while lawmakers work on a full replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters Friday in Washington.

"What’s the bridge from Obamacare for people in the states?" Ryan said during a Bloomberg Television interview Friday. "Let people go into a patient-centered health care system."

The court is scheduled to hear arguments March 4 in a case arguing that the law makes insurance subsidies available only in the states that have set up their own health-insurance exchanges.

A verdict against the Obama administration would largely unravel the law in 34 states whose residents must buy coverage through the federal enrollment system, healthcare.gov.

"The idea isn’t to make Obamacare work better," yet rather to give states freedom from the law, the lawmaker said.

Ryan also said he sees a relatively short window of opportunity to reach a deal with the Obama administration on revamping the business tax system.

"Tax reform is a 2015 thing for sure and I think it’s got to be done by the end of the summer," Ryan said. "If we keep dragging this out were not going to get there."

Ryan’s preference, he said, would be to address individual and business taxation together. He and Obama disagree on whether individual tax rates should be cut, so Ryan said he’s trying to see if Congress can address business taxes now and deal with individual rates after Obama leaves office.

"If we have to wait for year three to do it all, so be it," he said.

One big hurdle to tax-code changes is that many businesses -- including most small ones -- pay taxes through their owners’ individual tax returns, intertwining the corporate and individual tax codes.

Ryan said he’s considering all options on how to address that problem -- and wouldn’t identify any.

"The administration has been moving in our direction," he said.

Obama wants to use one-time revenue from the transition to a new tax system to pay for spending programs, including highway construction. He then wants the tax changes to be revenue neutral over the long run.

Ryan wouldn’t say what his revenue target is, saying that would be "premature."

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House Republicans won't agree to fix Obamacare if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the law bars health-insurance subsidies for millions of people, said House Ways and Means...
paul Ryan, Obamacare, subsidies, states
Friday, 13 February 2015 03:48 PM
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