Congressman Paul Ryan reintroducing GOP health-care reform bill today

by Ed Morrissey
January 27, 2010

Democrats have called a halt to health-care reform, mainly out of concern for their own electoral health. The big question will be whether Republicans take advantage of the opening. While the public is entirely disgusted with this attempt at health-care reform, Democrats have been right to point out that people want some reforms of the system, and usually rank it rather high on their list of priorities. When the GOP held the power in Washington, they mostly ignored it and left the field to Democrats, who shaped it as a populist issue against the big, bad, “villainous” insurers, as Pelosi put it last year.


Republicans have an opportunity to make the free-market case of dismantling barriers to interstate competition, reducing the role of third-payers in the system, and creating real pricing pressures that drive drown actual costs rather than reimbursements.

With the Medicare entitlement disaster looming, Republicans can’t afford to ignore the opportunity again. Rep. Paul Ryan apparently agrees. He will reintroduce the GOP version of health-care reform ignored by Democrats last year in favor of their stampede towards government control:

Rep. Paul Ryan is re-introducing legislation in Congress today — amid criticism that his is ‘a party of no’ — to offer Republican alternatives to health care and spending the same day President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress.

Ryan, the House Budget Committee Ranking Republican and chief sponsor of the bill, said the legislation will “restore our long-held legacy of leaving the next generation of Americans better off.”

The legislation, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” was initially introduced in 2008, yet the version introduced today “will reflect the dramatic decline in our nation’s economic and fiscal condition” since then, according to a release from Ryan’s office.

“Simply saying ‘no’ to the further government expansions – simply maintaining today’s ‘status quo’ – is no longer an option: our health care sector must be reformed; our economy needs sustained job creation and real growth; and we must tackle the greatest threat to our economic and fiscal future – the crushing debt burden driven by the unsustainable growth in entitlement spending,” Ryan said in a statement.

The bill has its own website, and it should, because it rolls up several GOP initiatives into a massive omnibus reform. It attempts to delink employment and health insurance with a refundable tax credit that allows people to purchase their own plans, which makes a lot of sense, although it doesn’t address whether employer-based plans will get taxed as income. It also eliminates the barriers to interstate competition for health insurance, which will increase competition and lower costs.

The article continues at

Read our notes from last November’s conference call, hosted by Americans for Prosperity, with Congressmen Ryan and Pence here. We also have a video of Congressman Ryan explaining how the current Pelosi-Reid-Obama bill will destroy small business in America; and video of him discussing the Republican’s alternative bill and the Town Hall Meetings held around the nation last summer.

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