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CBS "Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer" - Transcript


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Jack Kingston, your colleague in the House, "I feel like I just lost two great friends, America and Justice Roberts." And then we saw Glenn Beck -- he's trying to sell this T-shirt calling Chief Justice Roberts a coward

What do you make of this criticism? And do you agree with it?

RYAN: Well, yeah, I'm very disappointed in the ruling. I think the chief justice had to contort logic and reason to come up with this ruling. And basically, in his summary comments, he basically said the Supreme Court's not going to do this. They're not going to strike it down. We're going to leave it up to the American people.

So one man decided against the dissenting opinion, against what I, you know, thought were his -- his principles and judicial jurisprudence, he decided to leave this up to the American people. So now the stakes of this election could not be higher, George.

So, yeah, I'm very disappointed, but we're not deterred. We think we can still repeal this law if we win this election. And that's basically what the chief justice said. It's now up to the American people. It's beyond Congress, the president, and even the Supreme Court. The American people will be the judge and jury of this law come November.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney has said in the past that Chief Justice Roberts is a model for the kind of justice he would appoint to the court. Does that still hold?

RYAN: Well, I don't agree with his ruling. I agree with the dissenting judges. I think they basically had to rewrite the statute in order to call this a tax.

He -- he did have some good principles, which is the Commerce Clause and necessary and proper clause, meaning there is a limit to what Congress can do to affect people's behavior. But if you call it a tax, you can tax anybody to do anything you want from government, apparently. That to me is a disturbing ruling. That to me is rewriting this law. And that means they just punted it to the American people, and they will have the final say-so this fall. We will repeal this law if we win this election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it is -- it is in the campaign right now. Governor Romney continued that campaign for repeal right after the decision. I want to show a little bit of that.


ROMNEY: Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare -- cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, several independent fact-checkers have taken a look at that claim, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and said that it's misleading. And in fact, by that accounting, your budget, your own budget, which Governor Romney has endorsed, would also have $500 billion in Medicare cuts.

RYAN: Well, our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency. What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.

I mean, I've heard for years how much people don't like the idea that we're raiding Social Security to pay for other government programs. What Obamacare does for the first time in history is it raids Medicare to pay for Obamacare. In addition, it puts this new board of 15 people in charge of putting price controls on Medicare, which we think will end up rationing Medicare in ways that will deny care to seniors. So not only do we think this law is bad for Medicare, it's bad for health care, it's terrible for the economy, and it will move us closer toward a debt crisis.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, correct me if I'm wrong...

RYAN: This law represents...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought your Medicare savings were put towards deficit reduction and debt reduction.

RYAN: It -- which -- which extends the solvency of Medicare. What they do in Obamacare is they try to count this dollar twice. They claim that this helps Medicare solvency and, at the same time, they spend this money on creating Obamacare.

If you look at the appendix of the Trustees Report for Medicare, they -- they say the same thing. You can't count these dollars twice. In our budget, we make sure that all these dollars from Medicare savings go toward extending the solvency of Medicare and don't go toward spending new money on Obamacare.

So we don't raid Medicare for Obamacare. We repeal Obamacare and extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund in our budget.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you reject the charge that this could open up to the charge of hypocrisy?

RYAN: No. Look -- look at the hypocrisy. The president on your show said this is not a tax. Then he sent his solicitor general to the Supreme Court to argue that it is a tax in order to get this past the Supreme Court.

The broken promises and the hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the president who says one thing to get this past Congress and then another thing to get it past the Supreme Court. Look, I was here fighting this bill, George, in the last session of Congress. Believe me, if this was brought to the public as a tax, there's no way this law would have passed into law in the first place. That's what's so frustrating and disappointing with this law.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think you may be right about that. You also heard Jack Lew and Vicki Kennedy talk about the provisions in the law, some of them already in place, which are relatively popular right now with the American people. This is what's up on the White House website, that you can't deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, can't charge women more than men, can't place a lifetime dollar limits on care, must cover young adults under age of 26 on a parent's plan.

And I know the House is scheduled to have a repeal vote a little later this month. When you do that, will you also vote to preserve any of these programs? Or does everything go?

RYAN: Well, we -- we will vote to repeal the entire law on, I believe, July 11th. And what's frustrating about this is, when Obamacare was being deliberated, we were offering patient-centered solutions. I'll just say this. We can have a health care system in America where everybody has affordable access to health insurance, including people with pre-existing conditions, without a government takeover.

And those are the kinds of patient-centered solutions we're going to be advancing. We were proposing them then. We're proposing them now, so we can address these very legitimate concerns without a complete government takeover of 17 percent of our economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But to -- to be specific, those provisions that are already in place now, like closing the doughnut hole, covering young adults under the age of 26, not placing lifetime limits on care, those are all going to go in the House vote? You're not going to vote to replace them?

RYAN: We're going to repeal the entire law, and then we're going to advance patient-centered reforms which address these kinds of issues. By the way, the market was already moving on, say, the 26-year-old. Insurance companies were already announcing they're going to keep that in place anyway.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're not going to require it.

RYAN: So if you allow the market to work to appeal to consumers -- no, but what I would say is, if you take a look at a lot of the comprehensive plans many of us have authored, it does address these things. What I'm trying to tell you, George, is we can address these legitimate problems and needs without a government takeover.

I think this, at the end of the day, is a big philosophy difference. What -- what Mrs. Kennedy and others were saying is this is new government-granted right. We disagree with the notion that our rights come from government, that the government can now grant us and define our rights.

Those are ours. Those come from nature and God, according to the Declaration of Independence, a huge difference in philosophy. And so what we're saying is, there are principles and reforms that we could have passed into law, which we still want to, that address these legitimate problems without putting the government in such a central role in our lives and in our economy, which we think is going to hurt our economy, bring us toward a debt crisis, and -- and make the American health care system that much worse.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, I asked Jack Lew this. Will this election turn on health care?

RYAN: Health care and the economy. Look, this is the most important election in our lifetimes. This ruling -- and I guess this was John Roberts' thinking -- he raised the stakes of this election higher than it could have been raised.

This election is a choice of two futures. Do you want a government-centered society in a government-driven economy and government-rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty? That's what we want. That's the American idea. We have one more chance as a people to get that back, and that chance is going to come on November the 6th.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Big choice ahead. Congressman Ryan, thanks very much for your time this morning.


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