Ryan Clarifies Obamacare Replacement Timeline, Says Legislation Will Be Done This Year

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Speaker Paul Ryan assured the lower chamber would complete its work on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act this year, noting it could take additional time for the measures to be fully implemented.

Ryan’s comments come after President Donald Trump telling Fox News that the health-care reform process could go into next year.

“I think there was a little confusion here — the legislating is going to be done this year,” he told reporters after a Republican conference meeting Tuesday. “We are going to be done legislating with respect to health care, to Obamacare this year.”

Ryan said it’s critical the Senate confirm Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services nominee, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid nominee Seema Verma, so that they can get started on the process.

“So the question about how long it takes to effectuate the change, how long it takes to put these things in place, that’s a question that HHS can answer, but as far as legislating is concerned we are going to do our legislating this year,” he continued.

In addition to his remarks about expediting confirmations, Ryan also said Republicans are open to listening to the concerns of their constituents, stressing that something needs to be done  in the wake of the law collapsing. Despite Democrat claims to the contrary, He said, GOP lawmakers have proposals in committee.

“The law is in the middle of a collapse, so it’s our duty and our obligation to replace it with something better. The good news is we actually ran on a plan to replace Obamacare, and now our committees are in the midst of actually putting that plan together, and so yes this year we are going to go out and talk about what our plan is — the one we ran on in 2016 and why it’s going to be better,” Ryan said. “Take a look at our plan for preexisting conditions with high risk pools, we think it’s far superior; take a look at our plan for refundable tax credits so people can get affordable health care, take a look at our plan for more insurance competition so that we can actually have competition in the marketplace so that we can get prices down — that’s the beautiful thing about the American health-care system that we want to restore.”

Republicans still have not reached a consensus on the best way to move forward with a replacement plan.

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