Paul Ryan: ‘There Are More Effective Ways’ to End Obamacare Than Defunding--But Doesn't Say What

August 5, 2013 - 4:11 PM

paul ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Sunday there were “more effective ways” of ending Obamacare than defunding it, but he did not specify what those "more effective ways" were.

Nor did Ryan's office return calls from CNSNews.com asking him what he thought those more effective ways were.

“You know, rather than sort of swinging for the fences and trying to take this entire law out with discretionary spending, I think there are more effective ways of achieving that goal,” Ryan said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah) has said that he will offer an amendment to any continuing resolution that comes through the Senate to prohibit funding to implement any part of Obamacare. Under Lee's proposal, the administration would have no legal authority to spend money on Obamacare in any way. So long as the amendment was in effect, Obamacare could not be implemented.

Lee has called on House Republicans to incorporate such language into any legislation they pass through their chamber to fund the government past Sept. 30, when the current government-funding law expires. If the Republican-controlled House were to do as Lee suggests, the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama would have to make a choice: They would either have to agree to a government-funding bill that prohibited any action to implement Obamacare in fiscal 2014, or they would have to refuse to pass and sign such a bill--thus shutting down the government to force Republicans to submit to their demand for Obamacare funding.

Ryan rejects Lee's strategy.

“We think that we can do better by delaying this law," said Ryan. "We've already had votes to delay other parts of it. Democrats have supported us in that. And so I think there's going to be a better strategy to actually achieve our goal of ultimately delaying it, ultimately replacing Obamacare."

Host Bob Schieffer asked Ryan if he thought it was a good idea to shut down the government in a showdown with the Obama administration unless it agrees not to fund Obamacare.

“Let me ask you this – we're going to have this battle come fall about whether to shut down the government if we can't get this fiscal situation worked out, but now some members of your party are talking about threatening to shut down government unless the administration agrees not to fund Obamacare, the president's health care plan. Do you think that's a good idea?” host Bob Schieffer asked.

“Well, look, we all, Republicans, want to repeal and replace Obamacare. So it's not a matter of whether or not we want to get rid of Obamacare, we do. We're having a debate about the best course of achieving that goal, the best strategy,” Ryan said.

“And with the government shutdown, so to speak, we're talking about discretionary spending, just government agency budgets, but it doesn't affect entitlements. Obamacare is an entitlement like Medicare and Social Security is, and so the entitlement carries on even under a government shutdown scenario. So it's just not that simple and easy,” the former GOP vice presidential candidate said.

“You know, rather than sort of swinging for the fences and trying to take this entire law out with discretionary spending, I think there are more effective ways of achieving that goal. We think that we can do better by delaying this law,” Ryan said.

“We've already had votes to delay other parts of it. Democrats have supported us in that. And so I think there's going to be a better strategy to actually achieve our goal of ultimately delaying it, ultimately replacing Obamacare,” he added.