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Ryan's Budget Plan Leaves Obamacare Taxes Alone

As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:

"We don't like this law. This is why we're proposing to repeal this law in our budget. More importantly, we believe that this law is going to collapse under its own weight," he said. "So we will never be able to balance the budget if you keep Obamacare going, because Obamacare is a fiscal train wreck."

Yet the 2012 vice presidential nominee's dislike of Obamacare does not appear to extend to the $800 billion in new taxes it raises over the next decade. These include a new 3.8 percent tax on capital gains and dividends on households that earn more than $250,000 a year, 0.9 percent additional Medicare taxes on all household income over $250,000 a year, a new 2.3 percent tax on medical devices and a 10 percent tax on tanning salon services.

Ryan explained that he is not interested in re-litigating old battles over taxes.

"We are not going to refight the past, because we know that that's behind us," he said. "So what we're showing here is that with the fiscal cliff and all the other things that have occurred in the past — spending is going down in this baseline as well — that clearly makes it easier to balance the budget."

That fiscal cliff deal raised another $600 billion over 10 years with higher taxes on the wealthy. Ryan would also leave that alone.

S.V. Dáte is the congressional editor on NPR's Washington Desk

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Shirish Dáte is an editor on NPR's Washington Desk and the author of Jeb: America's Next Bush, based on his coverage of the Florida governor as Tallahassee bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post.