After an analysis done by the Congressional Budget Office found major flaws in the GOP healthcare bill, Paul Ryan has acknowledged that if his proposal is to pass, parts of it have to be changed. With no Democrats expected to vote for the bill, 216 of the 237 House Republicans need to vote in favor of it. Reps for Ryan have acknowledged that changes to the bill will be a multistep process.
Or of course they could stop trying to kick millions of people off their insurance and just work to improve the existing law.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, marking a significant retreat from his earlier position that the carefully crafted legislation would fail if substantially altered.
Ryan acknowledged that changes would be made two days after an analysis issued by the Congressional Budget Office prompted a fresh round of criticism of his proposal. Among the report’s projections was that 14 million fewer Americans would be insured after one year under the Republican plan.
Speaking after a private meeting of GOP lawmakers, Ryan said that leaders would “incorporate feedback” from the rank-and-file in response to the CBO findings. He did not repeat his previous comments calling support for the bill a “binary choice” for Republican lawmakers.
“Now that we have our score we can make some necessary improvements and refinements to the bill,” he said, referring to the CBO’s estimate of the effect on the number of those covered by health insurance and what the GOP proposal would cost.
Ryan did not detail what changes are under consideration to his plan.
Vice President Pence also spoke to House Republicans in the meeting, acknowledging that the White House was open to changes in the legislation, which heads to the House Budget Committee for approval Thursday. President Trump has offered his support for Ryan’s measure, while still meeting with conservative lawmakers who have expressed serious doubts about the plan.
“This president is ready to put the full weight of his bully pulpit and all of his tools” behind the bill, Pence told Republicans, according to Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “It was very important for us to hear that, because there are a lot of people who need that shoring up.”
Earlier in the day, Pence told conservatives at a private lunch meeting of the Republican Study Committee, a large caucus of conservative House Republicans, that the plan was still under negotiation, according to several attendees.
“As he said, it’s not often that we get an opportunity to undo such a big piece of legislation that had negative consequences on the American people,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), paraphrasing Pence’s message. “He’s open to make improvements. . . . Anything that can get 218 votes and make the bill better, we’re all about it.”
Pence’s visit to Capitol Hill — which included meetings with influential blocs of Republicans as well as individual members — came as part of a White House effort to salvage support for the embattled American Health Care Act, even as Trump’s conservative allies told him the bill could be a political trap.