Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters after he met with the the House Republican Conference Tuesday that House Republicans have not given up trying to rescue the Obamacare regime created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“We just had a very, very good meeting with our members–as I said on Friday, we all have to reflect on what we could have done better–and this discussion was an honest and very constructive step forward,” said the Speaker.
“We are not going to retrench into our corners or put up dividing lines–today, we broke down many of those dividing lines inside our conference–there is too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that,” he said.
“Since I became Speaker, I have talked about going from an opposition party to a proposition party and a governing party,” he said. “It may take a little bit more time, but we are certainly listening and we are going to get there.”
Friday, Ryan pulled his American Health Care Act minutes before it was coming up for a vote on the House floor after his allies in the Tuesday Group caucus withdrew support from the bill. The speaker crafted the AHCA, or Ryancare, with private working groups of congressional staff, selected congressmen, and representatives from the insurance industry.
When he released the text of the Ryancare bill, the Speaker said: ““Obamacare is rapidly collapsing. Skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago. It’s time to turn a page and rescue our health care system from this disastrous law. ”
Technically, the Ryancare bill was not defeated, because it never came to the floor. It remains active legislation, subject to manager’s amendments from the chairman of the Ways and Means, Energy, and Commerce and Budget committees, as well as possible changes made in the House Rules Committee, which must pass the bill’s final language before sending it to the House floor.
Ryan told reporters that House Republicans are united in their effort to fix national healthcare policy.
“We are united around our agenda, and we all want to advance the agenda of freedom and limited government. We all want to make it easier for families to pay the bills and take care of their loved ones,” he said.
Ryan said that in addition to working on the Obamacare rescue, House Republicans are working on border security, tax reform, and the unwinding of regulations through the Congressional Review Act.
Follow Neil W. McCabe on Twitter: @neilwmccabe