Ryan panned Romney Mass. health reforms, said he was ‘not a fan’

Mitt Romney’s campaign hopes the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R) as running mate will rally conservative voters ahead of Election Day, but the Wisconsin lawmaker has been a tough critic of the presumptive GOP nominee’s controversial Massachusetts healthcare reforms.

Ryan said he was “not a fan of the system,” in an interview with C-SPAN in January 2010. “I've got some relatives up there in Massachusetts — my uncle's a cardiologist in Boston — and I've talked to a lot of healthcare folks up there.”

Ryan was responding to a question about GOP Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) special election victory and said voter concerns about the state’s healthcare reforms and President Obama’s healthcare efforts had propelled the Brown to victory.

“What's happening now because costs are getting out of control, premiums are increasing in Massachusetts and now you have a bureaucracy that is having to putting all these cost controls and now rationing on the system,” Ryan said. “People in Massachusetts are saying, ‘yes, we have virtually universal healthcare.’ I think it’s like 96 or 98 percent insured, but they see the system bursting by the seams, the premium increases, rationing and benefit cuts.” 

Ryan said voters were already “frustrated with this system” and were weary of federal efforts to make additional changes. 

“These kind of systems as we are now seeing in Massachusetts are unsustainable,” he added.

Romney’s healthcare plan, which he instituted as governor, has come under fire from conservatives who blast it as an example of government overreach and fear Romney would not be a forceful advocate against Obama’s Affordable Care Act. 

Obama’s campaign has consistently cited Romney’s Massachusetts law as the basis for the president’s own signature domestic legislation.  

Romney has defended the Massachusetts reforms, which included the controversial individual mandate proposal, saying it was the right decision for his state but not for the entire country. The GOP candidate has also vowed to repeal Obama’s healthcare law if elected. 

Ryan has been a vocal proponent of reforming Medicare by turning it into a government-subsidized private insurance system, a proposal blasted by Democrats who have used Ryan’s plan as a centerpiece of their campaign efforts to retake the GOP-controlled House.