Ryan says Medicare expansion won't work

March 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Rolling back President Obama's controversial healthcare reform plan remains a key to balancing the U.S. budget, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said Sunday.

Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for vice president in 2012, said on "Fox News Sunday" he was particularly disturbed about Obama's strategy of qualifying millions of people for Medicare coverage.

"We think the 'Obamacare' expansion of Medicare is reckless," said Ryan. "We are pushing people, 20 million people, into a program that's failing. More and more doctors and hospitals don't even take the program."

Ryan, a leading congressional budget hawk, told Fox the GOP preferred to see individual states get more freedom to customize their Medicaid programs for low-income residents. He contended his plan would result in huge savings by blocking an equally huge expansion of entitlements.

"We want to give states ... the tools they need to make these benefits work for their populations and we don't want to push more people into a failing program," Ryan said. "By not pushing people into this failing program, we do save those kinds of dollars."

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