WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters on Capitol Hill this morning that he’s reserving an opinion on the Senate’s healthcare legislation, released last week and scored by the Congressional Budget Office this week, because “we just don’t know what the final bill is going to look like.”
“So, all of our members are just waiting and seeing what the Senate does. We all have opinions on what the best possible policy is. And yes, the reconciliation system is a little frustrating because we can’t put all the bills in there we would want. We’re doing medical liability reform later this week, for example,” he said outside of a closed caucus meeting.
“But our members are just waiting to see in a constructive way what the Senate can produce. And then we’ll make the decision after they do that.”
The CBO estimated in its report released Monday that the Senate healthcare bill would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million in 2026, compared to 23 million in the last version of the House healthcare legislation.
The deficit would be reduced $321 billion by 2026, the CBO found, compared to $337 billion in deficit reduction in the House bill.
Ryan said on CNN this morning that “what they’re basically saying at the Congressional Budget Office is if you’re not going to force people to buy Obamacare, if you’re not going to force them to buy something that they don’t want, then they won’t buy it.”
“So it’s not that that people are getting pushed off our plan. It’s that people will choose not to buy something they don’t like or want. And that’s the difference here,” he added. “So by repealing the individual and employer mandate which mandates people buy this health insurance that they can’t afford and don’t like, if you don’t mandate that they’re going to do this, then that many people won’t do it.”
“It also said that if states don’t expand Medicaid in the future then fewer people will go on Medicaid in those states that don’t expand it in the future.”
The Speaker declared that “the left is out of gas.”
“I think they just basically decided resist, resist, resist. They want government-run healthcare,” Ryan said. “Government-run healthcare is collapsing as we speak. It’s not working.”
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) said outside of a party caucus meeting on Capitol Hill today that Obamacare is “working for many Americans, and yet Republicans have this narrative that somehow it’s failing.”
“Many of the areas in which we could improve Obamacare, Republicans have been completely unwilling to work with us on that. And they’ve been sabotaging it, quite frankly. They’ve been undermining it by challenging certain provisions, or not implementing certain provisions. And then, they point to it and say that it’s a failure when it in fact is not,” she said.
The GOP, Sanchez added, “ran on a platform of repealing Obamacare,” but “when push came to shove, and we said ‘what’s your replacement’ they cobbled together this terrible bill in the House, equally terrible bill in the Senate that a majority of the American people don’t want.”
“And those that stand to suffer and lose the most are those that are in those rural districts and those Republican-held districts,” she said.