Ryan sees health reform failure as GOP opportunity

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Associated Press
May 4, 2013

ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan told Wisconsin Republicans at the state party convention Saturday that they must capitalize politically on the implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, offering those who become frustrated a better alternative.

Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, said as the law goes into effect, health insurance costs for individuals and businesses will skyrocket, employers will drop coverage for workers and Republicans need to be there to attract those angry about it.

“The nation is watching. The broken promises are being realized in front of their eyes and in their daily lives,” Ryan said to about 1,000 people attending the meeting at the Patriot Center in Rothschild, near Wausau. “This is the moment that we have to offer them real hope and give them real alternatives.”

New health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, are supposed to be open for enrollment by Oct. 1 and operating in earnest by Jan. 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said it will meet those deadlines, but even supporters of the health care overhaul acknowledge those dates may be too ambitious.

Ryan said he had a “hard time believing” the Obama administration would have the exchanges working on time.

“Businesses don’t know how to comply,” Ryan told reporters after his speech. “States don’t know what’s going on.”

In a statement, Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents have already benefited from health care reform and farmers will also have better access to affordable health care because of it.

“Whether Paul Ryan likes it or not, Obamacare is the law of the land,” Tate said.

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