Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee, argued on a local news program that the GOP should delay parts of Obamacare, particularly the individual mandate. Ryan said that the effort to defund the law, advocated by some Republicans in Congress, would not stop Obamacare from being implemented.
"One of the problems is there’s a little misconception out there, that if we stop funding what we call discretionary spending, that that stops Obamacare," Ryan said on WISN-TV Sunday. "It doesn’t. Entitlements continue on. Social Security and Medicare, those things continue, even if we have a government shutdown. Obamacare is an entitlement. So it’s not within the power of the House Republicans unilaterally to defund Obamacare by just passing one bill and it happens. To defund or delay Obamacare, Obama himself has to sign that bill into law. And so what we’re trying to do is figure out the best way of maximizing our leverage to get the president to delay his health-care law."
Ryan also pointed out that the president has already delayed the law's mandate that corporations provide their employees with health insurance. "Why not give the same kind of relief for small businesses and families, for individuals? That’s our point," he siad. "This law is not ready for primetime. They’ve already acknowledged that they don’t know how to verify people’s eligibility and how much subsidies they should or should not get. So we’re going to see a lot of fraud, a lot of confusion, huge premium increases, massive disruption in the health-care system. It’s not ready for primetime. They’re still trying to cram it through. That’s why we’re looking at every piece of leverage we can use to delay this thing."
Watch the video here.
Meanwhile, James Capretta and Jeffrey Anderson write today that delaying, rather than defunding, Obamacare is a better tactic for Republicans, both on the policy and the politics.