May 09, 2017
Ryan: Claims House rushed to replace Obamacare a 'bogus attack'
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday described claims Republicans rushed through their replacement bill for health care reform as a "bogus attack on the left," though he accused the Democrats of doing the same thing in 2009.
On Thursday, Ryan quickly called for a vote after getting enough Republican support. The House approved the American Health Care Act 217-213, as 20 Republicans and every Democrat voted against the bill.
Ryan said on ABC's This Week the bill "has been online for two months" and was analyzed twice by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which predicted from the initial bill that 24 million more Americans would be uninsured in 10 years.
When George Stephanopoulos noted that significant amendments were made to the bill, Ryan said the final amendment "was three pages long. It takes you 30 seconds to read."
And the entire bill is under 200 pages, he added. "It doesn't take long to go through this bill."
The amended bill was only posted online hours before the vote. Several Republican House members, including Rep. Chris Collins of New York, admitted publicly to not reading the entire GOP health care bill before voting on it.
Ryan criticized Democrats in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, was passed.
"I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read, that we don't know what they cost," Ryan, then-minority leader, said at the time on MSNBC. "If you rush this thing through before anybody even knows what it is, that's not good democracy."
Eight years later, the Republicans are in control of the House and Senate, and have a member of their party in the White House, Donald Trump.
Ryan defended an amendment that would let states apply for waivers to allow insurance companies to increase premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.
He said people with pre-existing health conditions can "get affordable coverage" because "there are "multiple layers of protection."
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also firmly defended allegations people with pre-existing conditions will suffer financially. "What I believe they are not recognizing is this is a different and we believe better way to protect them," Price said on NBC's Meet the Press.
Several medical groups are opposed to the changes in healthcare insurance.
"Sometimes change can be disconcerting to folks," said Price, a former member of the House and previously a physician. "And that's why I would suggest that that list of groups that you had up earlier, say they now oppose it, the fact of the matter is, they're not focusing on the kinds of things that are going to improve the system."
Price added: "those who are sicker, who are older, who are poorer — they will get larger subsidies so that they will able to get the kind of coverage they need and for their family."
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said on Meet The Press that the House bill will not be "not dead on arrival" in the Senate, but they will also not be "bringing it immediately on the floor."
"From the House's perspective, they added a few things late, but this is not a new issue," he said.
Democrats hope to retool Obamacare.
"Every dynamic in every demography of my state gets absolutely slammed with this piece of legislation," Sen Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, said on CBS' Face the Nation. "So I said, 'Get rid of the word repeal, and start talking about repairing.' If they can get rid of the word repeal. ... we can sit down. Democrats and Republicans could work through this. We know that this bill needs to be fixed. The Affordable Care Act, there's not a Democrat who doesn't realize we need to work on the private market. But you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And then you're throwing insult to injury by giving a $575 billion tax cut to the wealthiest Americans while you're cutting $880 billion of service to the poorest Americans."
Sen. Feinstein, D-Callif., expressed similar sentiments on NBC.
"What my position is and I believe this is the Democratic position: Don't repeal Obamcare," she said. "Take those sections, like the individual market, which has some problems in it, and deal with it and fix those sections, and it can be done. I'm really very worried that in the rush to judgement we create a major health care problem for people."