Health care is neither a right nor a privilege provided by the government according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, the Wisconsin Congressman explained that he believes the government doesn’t owe it to anyone to pay for health care. Doing so enables the government to decide for Americans “where how and when we get health car,” he said.
He went on to explain that doing so gives the government too much power over people’s lives. Notably, Ryan sang a different tune during the 2012 Vice Presidential debate when he told the audience that he didn’t believe unelected judges should decide health care decisions, Congress should. That was about abortions, however.
Todd attempted to interrupt Ryan, but Ryan persisted asked that Todd not cut him off. “I love you, we’re buddies, but ya know,” Ryan told Todd. He went on to say that what health care is, however, is a need but that the answer is not Obamacare.
“We will be able to offer a better system with more access and lower coverage costs including people with pre-existing conditions,” he claimed.
Todd wondered if he was painting himself into a corner, much in the same way Obama’s claim “if you like your doctor you can keep him’ did.
When it comes to those who don’t buy health care and simply go to the emergency room, Ryan said that those people will be handled by high-risk pool plans like what he had in Wisconsin. Their plan had government-provided insurance for about 21,000 people who had medical conditions that prevented them from getting insurance on the individual market, according to the Lacrosse Tribune.
While it provided care for many, the plan was too expensive for many people. More than 500,000 were left uninsured, according to health policy programs director at the Population Health Institute UW-Madison Donna Friedsam. The plan also had a lifetime cap of $2 million and a six-month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions.
“It worked well for 21,000 people,” Friedsam said. “But it did not solve the problem of getting most of the people in our state connected to affordable coverage.”
Watch the full interview with Ryan below: