Paul Ryan

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Paul Ryan (1970-) is a Republican U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin, a district won by Barack Obama. He is considered a policy expert on health care, including by President Obama.[1]

With his reelection in 2010 and the Republican takeover of the House, he is the new chairman of the House Budget Committee. While a conservative, he is known for the ability to work with Democrats.[2] He said he "grew up with organized labor", and receives more union support than most Republicans. [3] His "Roadmap for America's Future" proposal for entitlement reform [4] raises considerable controversy, in demanding fiscal conservatism that might be counterproductive for Republicans seeking electoral victory. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, he said more conservatives did not support him because "They're talking to their pollsters and their pollsters are saying, 'Stay away from this. We're going to win an election.'" Should he and the Republicans win the House in November 2010, he would be the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, where he would have strong influence on fiscal policy. [5]

Health care

President Obama said the "Roadmap" contained serious health care reform proposals.[1] Its key provision is shifting the "[o]wnership of health insurance must be shifted away from third parties to those who are actually using it. In place of the current Federal tax law creating the market distortion – the individual income tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance..." creating a refundable tax credit... available solely for the purchase of health care, and payable directly to the health plan.

Health plans would be bought through state-based exchanges. "Plans offering coverage through an Exchange will have to meet the same statutory standard used for the health benefits given to Members of Congress." There would be high-risk pools for those who are otherwise uninsurable; states can subsidize low income or highly cost-burdened subscribers. "The Exchange will require all participating insurers to offer coverage to any individual regardless of the patient’s age or health history." His proposal provides "independent risk-adjustment among insurance companies. A non-profit, independent board will penalize insurance companies that cherry-pick healthy patients while rewarding companies that seek patients with pre-existing conditions. This solution will ensure health insurers compete based on superior products and price."[6]

Ryan was a participant in the 2010 Presidential summit, the Washington Post called him one of the "winners". [7] He spoke on limiting Federal regulation of insurance, describing the Republican position as
By federalizing the regulation of insurance and by mandating exactly how it will work, you make it more expensive and you reduce the competition among insurers for people's business.

We want to decentralize the system, give more power to small businesses, more power to individuals, and make insurers compete more. But if you federalize it and standardize it and mandate it, you do not achieve that.

That's the big difference we have. [8]


He voted for the financial industry bailout bill.

Early career


Caucuses and groups


  • B.A., Miami University of Ohio, economics and political science (1992)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alex Altman (17 February 2010), "Paul Ryan: The GOP's Answer to the 'Party of No,'", Time
  2. "Paul Ryan",, a Washington Post company
  3. Erik Gunn (1 July 2005), "That Hair, Those Eyes, That Plan", Milwaukee Magazine
  4. Roadmap for America's Future
  5. Perry Bacon Jr. (2 August 2010), "Rep. Ryan pushes budget reform, and his party winces", Washington Post
  6. Paul Ryan, Health Care Security, The Roadmap Plan
  7. Chris Cillizza (25 February 2010), "Winners and losers from the health care summit", Washington Post
  8. Paul Ryan (25 February 2010), "Rep. Paul Ryan makes remarks on insurance regulation at White House health summit", Washington Post