Ryan on healthcare plan: 'We're right where we want to be'

Henrietta Brewer
March 20, 2017

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said in a Facebook post Saturday night that while he believes the Affordable Care Act is "broken", he wouldn't vote for the Republican bill in its current form, citing its impact on the "single most important issue plaguing" his constituents, "opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery". The benefits guaranteed by the ACA will be reduced or nonexistent, leaving the buyer of "low cost" health insurance with less coverage, with larger co-pays and deductibles. The bill adds complicated tax issues, health savings accounts, seemingly arbitrary tax credits and other obstacles including the re-institution of rescission, that make having to deal with already debilitating health issues exponentially more complex and hard.

When asked about the prospects that the House can pass the bill on Thursday, Ryan said he feels "very good about it".

There's been no shortage of organizations throwing their weight against Ryan's American Health Care Act since it was released on March 6 - including Planned Parenthood advocates, Democrats in congress, and House conservatives who think it doesn't go far enough. Addressing all the concerns is "what tough legislation looks like".

"And that's one of the things we're looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs", the Wisconsin Republican said.

For example, a 64-year-old making $26,500 would see premiums increase from $1,700 to $14,600, the CBO found. It would shrink the tax credits they use to help buy insurance and it would increase their premiums because the bill allows insurers to charge more as people age and become more susceptible to health problems. "He's the one who has helped to negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus".

On Sunday, Ryan said he believed the CBO analysis was not accurate because Obamacare wouldn't be able to last 10 years.

But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has worked closely with the hard-right bloc in the House, said on "This Week" that the bill was still short of a majority. That's because the GOP plan would offer only $4,900 in tax credits, compared to $13,600 under Obamacare subsides.

Separately, Ryan said he also expected the House to make changes to Trump's proposed budget, which calls for a boost to military spending but big-time cuts in domestic programs.

"We are making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements", he said.

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