• With: Rep. Paul Ryan

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 21, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, Congressman Paul Ryan is here, fresh off a party-line budget victory in the House of Representatives!


    REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Every family in America must balance their budget. And today, House Republicans our bold plan to balance the federal budget over the next 10 years.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We still have no budget from the president, in violation of the law!

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's interesting that the president's brackets, they're always on time. His budgets not so much.

    BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to have to go to Ohio State.

    I'm going with Florida.

    I don't want people thinking that I'm only Big 10 all the time.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crazy that it's been four months since the election and he still needs Florida and Ohio to win.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news, Nicole, out of Washington, with the House approving Congressman Paul Ryan's budget.

    BOEHNER: This budget does more than just balance.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we reduce our deficit and debt and still help those who are the neediest in America? Can we have a safety net that survives and still reduce the deficit? Paul Ryan says no.

    RYAN: At least budgets are passing around here, for a change. Government's going to have to learn to do more with less. It's not government's money, it's the people's money.

    BOEHNER: The budget that Senate Democrats are considering never balances, ever.


    VAN SUSTEREN: And House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan telling us Republicans and Democrats are still worlds apart. Well, that is an understatement! We saw that just an hour ago, the Democratic-led Senate defeating the Ryan House budget 40 to 59. So is there any hope left? Here's Congressman Paul Ryan.


    VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Chairman, nice to see you, sir.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS./HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Hey, great to see you again.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK, I want to talk about the budget that passed today. I imagine you're pretty happy.

    RYAN: We're very happy about it. Look, we passed a balanced budget. We think it's important. We owe the country a balanced budget. It's a reasonable plan. It grows the economy. Balancing the budget is not just a statistical exercise, it's the necessary means to a healthier economy, creates more jobs, helps people keep more of their own hard-earned money. And it's a big contrast to the other budgets that are passing.

    At least budgets are passing around here, for a change, but all the other budgets have trillion-dollar-plus tax increases and have net spending increases. And when he you have a trillion-dollar deficit, we need to work on our spending. And when the other side's offering even more spending increases and even more tax increases, more borrowing, we're still kind of worlds apart.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I went through the budget, at least, and it's very complicated. At least I think it's complicated. I'm trying to understand it. I want to go to different provisions so that I understand.

    RYAN: OK.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Let me start first with Medicare. As I understand it, under your program, it doesn't affect anyone over the age of about what, 55?

    RYAN: Right. So if you're born 1958 or earlier, it doesn't affect you, meaning you stay in the current Medicare program just as it's designed now. In addition, we get rid of the "ObamaCare" Independent Payment Advisory Board. That's the board of 15 bureaucrats next year that are in charge of cutting Medicare in ways that Medicare tells us will lead to denied access to current seniors. And so we don't think we should change Medicare for current seniors, which is what "Obama care" does.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK, what...

    RYAN: And so we proposed a new system for younger people that works like what we have in Congress.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right. As I understand it, there are two choices under your provision, if you're under 55. You can either have Medicare as is or you can have a federal subsidy so you can go out and buy your own. Is that correct?

    RYAN: In a Medicare exchange, meaning you have guaranteed coverage options within Medicare. So they're comprehensive private plans. Just like the prescription drug plan works today or like federal employees buy their insurance. So it's guaranteed. You can't be denied. You get to pick among these plans. They have to meet at least Medicare's criteria. And then you get to choose among these benefits. Or if you want the traditional program, you can do that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: How is that a savings? Because either it's a savings because you're getting less services if you're under 55, or it's -- or some -- or- or- there's less money being put into it by the federal government. So which is it?

    RYAN: So what we do is we give people basically the average amount that Medicare gives you today, but with a couple of changes. Number one, if you're wealthy, we don't give you nearly as much. If you're poor, you get an additional subsidy to cover all your out-of-pocket...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Or you can stay in Medicare as is.

    RYAN: And that -- but you get a finite amount of money to go into Medicare. And so we adjust it, based on sickness, based on wealth, we means test it, more for the poor, less for the wealthy. That saves money at the end of the day. But the choice and competition was what really drives down the cost increases.

    Like Medicare part D -- that's a program that came in 49 percent below original cost estimates because seniors got a choice of plans. If they don't like their plan this year, they can fire it and go to a new one next year. Those plans compete against each other, and that drives down costs and increases quality. It's a bipartisan idea, and we want to apply that idea to the rest of Medicare for the younger generation.

    And what this shows is you can make Medicare solvent and sustainable. You can make sure that you don't change it for current seniors and save it for the next generation by doing these kinds of reforms.