By Elise Viebeck - 05/09/13 02:56 PM EDT
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) predicted that President Obama's landmark healthcare reform law will soon "collapse under its own weight," giving the GOP an opportunity to propose a free-market alternative.
Ryan accepted an award Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he pointed to ObamaCare as Exhibit A of the new "progressive state."
"The healthcare law isn’t just another entitlement," Ryan said. "It puts one-sixth of our economy in the hands of federal bureaucrats. It allows government to stage-manage our lives in the most personal of domains: our health."
"This is our opportunity to take back the initiative," Ryan said. "If we reform healthcare the right way, free enterprise can control costs and increase quality — without this kind of bullying."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Wednesday that the lower chamber will vote again to repeal the Affordable Care Act next week.
Recently elected conservative members have said they deserve an opportunity to vote against the healthcare law, as their colleagues have.
Ryan did not mention repeal in his speech, but emphasized that the GOP must be ready to provide an alternative plan to ObamaCare.
He proposed giving a refundable tax credit to individuals and families who purchase healthcare coverage.
"We would also give more help to the poor and the sick — and less help to the rich. Support would go only to those who needed it," Ryan said.
Read more from the remarks here. Ryan was given the Irving Kristol Award at AEI's annual gala.