Summary: On Friday night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss how the House is working on repealing and replacing Obamacare through regular order.
Key Quote: “It is the plan that we ran on in all of 2016 that we said if we get the chance of having a Republican president, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare and this is what we’re going to replace it with. Well guess what—we are keeping that promise. And that is exactly what we are doing here.”
“Our committees that write these bills, working very, very closely with the administration, are fine-tuning the legislation. That’s what you have to do when you’re near the end of drafting a big piece of legislation like this. . . . So the [Energy and] Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee—the two key committees in the House—they’re running point on this in the House.”
“Let’s just review what we’ve been doing. Last year, in early 2016, we rolled out an Obamacare repeal and replace plan—we called that A Better Way. Go on the internet and read it. We ran on that plan. That plan resembled Tom Price’s legislation that so many people in Congress were cosponsors of. Then after the election came, and we won the election, we started putting that plan into legislative text, having hearings. . . . . We’ve been doing hearings all year long. Now we’re translating the findings of those hearings, that plan into legislative text—that’s the fine-tuning of the drafting that’s occurring. And then guess what? This bill’s not being written in my office like it was in Harry Reid’s office on Christmas Eve in 2009. This bill is being written by the committees that are in charge of health care, which is the regular order process. This bill will go through the committee process, go through the Budget Committee, then go to the floor of Congress under what we call regular order. That is precisely the most transparent and normal way of doing business—which is the opposite of what the Democrats did when they crammed Obamacare through.”
“We’re doing this hand in glove with President Trump, with Tom Price, HHS secretary, with our counterparts in the Senate—we’re all working off the same piece of paper, the same legislation. . . . We’re talking about giving the states control of the Medicaid program, which is something conservatives have been fighting for for years. . . . And then on the tax front: We’ve long been saying we need to equalize the tax treatment of health care for everybody in America. Right now, the tax code discriminates against people who do not get health care from their jobs. There’s a huge tax benefit if you get health care at work. If you gotta go buy your health insurance, there’s no tax benefit for you. So what conservatives have long said is let’s equalize the tax treatment for health care so that it doesn’t matter if you get health care at work or not at work, let’s give you the same kind of tax benefit so that you can go buy what you want to buy. You can go into a free market as a consumer and buy the plan of your choosing—with Health Savings Accounts as well. This is what we have long stood on as conservatives. It is the plan that we ran on in all of 2016 that we said if we get the chance of having a Republican president, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare and this is what we’re going to replace it with. Well guess what—we are keeping that promise. And that is exactly what we are doing here.”