Fox News host Chris Wallace pointed out to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Sunday that his plan to reform the health care system would crush older Americans by forcing them to either drop insurance coverage or pay thousands more.
During a Sunday interview, Wallace said that 24 million fewer Americans overall would have insurance under the Ryan plan in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
"You said that part of that is that this is what freedom looks like," Wallace recalled. "But is the major decrease in the number of people -- according to the CBO -- who will have health insurance, is it freedom or is it that some people will no longer be able to afford health insurance under your plan?"
Wallace noted a CBO estimate which said that a 64 year old making less than $27,000 a year will pay $14,600 a year for health insurance instead of the $1,700 they pay now under President Barack Obama's law.
"What they're saying is that this isn't freedom, this isn't people voluntarily deciding not to have health insurance," Wallace remarked. "It's that your plan makes it unaffordable for people."
Ryan argued that Obamacare was "not going to last," and he agreed that older people were not getting enough assistance under his plan.
"We're not going to make people buy something that's so expensive that they can't afford, that the market is not going to offer," the Speaker insisted. "And so where I dispute that comparison is it suggests that we're going to have the same kinds of plans being offered in 10 years that Obamacare would otherwise offer."
"The person in their 50s or 60s does have additional health care costs than, say, a person in their 20s and 30s," Ryan continued. "You're right in saying -- and we agree -- we believe we should have even more assistance and that's one of the things we're looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s."
"So, you're going to change the plan?" Wallace pressed.
"That is among the things we're looking at doing, yes," Ryan replied cagily. "And the point I would say is, we're going to let people buy what they want to buy. We're going to have more plans being offered, more choice and competition."