House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the notion President-elect Donald Trump’s recent call to repeal and replace Obamacare simultaneously puts congressional Republicans in a difficult position Thursday.
Ryan said the party’s goal aligns with the incoming administration’s and they’ve had an open line of communication on the best way to address the issue. Citing the rise in premiums and high deductibles Americans have faced since Obamacare’s implementation, Ryan said GOP lawmakers are on a “rescue mission” to improve the nation’s health-care policy.
“I’ve spoken with President Trump probably two times last three days on this, Mike Pence was in my office yesterday to discuss this — so we are in complete sync,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference. “We agree we want to make sure that we move these things concurrently, at the same time, repeal and replace — we need to show that there’s a better way forward, we need to show that even though this law is collapsing we can bridge ourselves to a much, much better system.”
Ryan praised the Senate’s procedural vote to move forward with the reconciliation bill –which only requires a simple majority to pass the upper chamber — being used as the vehicle to repeal the ACA. A measure the House is slated to vote on Friday. With a number of rank and file members within his own conference looking for additional details on how to accomplish their plan, Ryan assured after the bill is passed, it will move to the proper committees to form the legislation.
“As you know, I like to run a bottom-up process that’s collaborative here in Congress,” he said. “We’re going to work with all of our committees that are in charge of health-care legislation — the Education and Workforce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, the Commerce Committee — and we’re going to have a full exhausting conversation at the retreat to go through all of these things.”
Ryan said with an administration willing to work with them, coming to a consensus on how it should be handled shouldn’t be problematic.
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