Ryan, taking hard line, vows to repeal Obama healthcare law

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:06pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, taking a harder line than running mate Mitt Romney on President Barack Obama's healthcare law, vowed on Friday that their administration would repeal it as soon as they take office.

Ryan, who is Roman Catholic, also had harsh words for the Democratic administration's requirement that religious organizations provide health insurance plans that cover the cost of employees' contraceptive care.

"I can assure you, when Mitt Romney is elected, we will get to work - on Day One - to repeal that mandate and all of Obamacare," the Wisconsin congressman told the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of religious and conservative activists.

Romney, who faces Obama in the Nov. 6 election, raised some eyebrows when he said in remarks aired on Sunday that he likes some parts of "Obamacare" and wants to retain them. He seemed to be easing back on his vows throughout the campaign to "repeal and replace" the measure, which is loathed by Republicans.

"I'm not getting rid of all of healthcare reform," Romney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I'm going to put in place," Romney added. He said those included ensuring that people are not barred from obtaining health insurance because they have pre-existing conditions and a provision allowing children who are young adults to remain on their parents' insurance plans.

Elements of a state healthcare reform law that Romney put in place as governor of Massachusetts served as a model for the federal law Obama signed in 2010.

Romney made similar remarks on Friday in an interview taped for airing on Tuesday, citing his Massachusetts plan.

"Instead of putting in place what's affectionately known as Obamacare, I would repeal that and replace that with measures that are designed to help bring down the cost of health insurance and make sure at the same time people have access to health care, pre-existing conditions are able to be covered," Romney said on ABC's "Live! With Kelly and Michael" daytime television show.

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