Paul Ryan: Healthcare law would fail today given its 'broken promises'

"One, if you like the health insurance you had, you can keep it. That's a broken promise," Ryan said. "Two, this will bring down our healthcare premiums. That's a broken promise. Three, there's no tax on people making less than $200,000 in this bill. That's a broken promise."

"If any of these three broken promises were known to the public and the Congress at the time they were passing this law, the law would never have passed in the first place," Ryan added. "We now have this information. Let's revisit this."

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Similar to other portions of today's debate, Democrats disagreed completely with the Republican characterizations of the bill, and continued to accuse the GOP of wasting time with the bill, H.R. 6079.

"What we're engaged in here in the House of Representatives right now is a total waste of taxpayer money," ranking Budget Committee member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said. "It's no wonder the American people think so little of this institution."

Van Hollen and other Democrats argued that repealing the bill would actually increase the deficit, and said Republicans were proceeding despite any formal estimate from the Congressional Budget Office on the deficit effects of the bill. But Ryan discounted that argument as an accounting trick.

"The only reason this bill "on paper' saves money is because they told CBO to score 10 years of tax increases, of Medicare savings, to pay for six years of spending," Ryan said. "You can contort and distort and torture statistics long enough and eventually they'll confess."

Ryan spoke after an earlier segment of the debate controlled by the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The chairman of that committee, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), rejected the Supreme Court's ruling as one that gives the government nearly unlimited power, by upholding penalties against people who refuse to buy health insurance.

"If Washington can dictate that private citizens must buy health insurance and impose higher taxes when they fail to do so, it is difficult to conceive of any limit on federal power," Kline said.

"The government takeover of healthcare is destroying jobs, it is raising healthcare costs," he added. "It is the wrong prescription for an ailing economy. It must be repealed."

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) rejected GOP arguments as "baloney."

"This is baloney, the arguments are baloney," she said. "So baloney, baloney, baloney."

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) blamed Democrats for expanding government to an unwieldy and unaffordable size, but accepted that some of the blame for this falls on Republicans who failed to take steps to reform healthcare earlier.

"When Republicans had control of the Congress and the White House during the previous decade, we failed to address America's major healthcare problems, which are rising costs and a lack of access to healthcare for millions of hardworking Americans," he said. "So we Republicans didn't do the job."