Speaker Paul Ryan: Health care policy 'in the Senate's court...we did our job'

Ryan: Health care stalemate frustrating
Ryan: Health care stalemate frustrating
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 12:21:31-04

Frustration abounds within and outside GOP circles in the U.S. Capitol about the lack of progress by the Senate on a health care bill, one which the GOP has promised as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

That frustration extends to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who passed the American Health Care Act, which changes a large amount of the health insurance policy put in place by the previous President, Barack Obama. The House plan reduces Medicaid and subsidies for private insurance, would have saved $1.2 trillion and led to 24 million people losing insurance.

"I just want them to pass something so we can get to negotiations to a final bill, how a bill becomes a law...that process can't go forward if the Senate doesn't pass anything," said Ryan on WTMJ's Jeff Wagner Show. "That's where they are right now and that's what's frustrating."

"It is in the Senate's court. We did our job."

The House plan pushed by Speaker Ryan reduces Medicaid and subsidies for private insurance and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would have saved $1.2 trillion and led to 24 million people losing insurance.

The Senate has now repeatedly failed in following the House's lead, repealing Obama's health care policy and passing their own version of a new health care policy, something President Donald Trump has pushed hard as a major policy initiative due to what he and GOP congressional leaders jointly believe is a failed policy.

"What the President is doing is basically stating the obvious. If the Senate can't pass a bill...then the status quo continues. The problem is, the status quo, which is Obamacare, is collapsing. This isn't political rhetoric. It is actually collapsing. Premiums have doubled. You have insurance companies fleeing the market left and right because of the way it was designed," said Ryan.

"If the status quo continues on and we don't pass something, I really do think the law is going to continue its collapse."

Ryan also shared his thoughts about his relationship with the President, which has been rancorous at times.

"We had a long talk yesterday morning. we talk frequently, just about the legislative agenda. We talked a lot lately about tax reform, welfare reform, about the military and many other things. We get along fine," said Speaker Ryan.

"He gets a little focused on that. I personally say 'Just don't watch TV. Let's just focus on our work.' I try to tune it out as best I can."

He also believes the President is "seeing that we're passing a lot of things and getting a little frustrated about the fact that people don't know, but what matters is we just deliver results. At the end of the day, that's what really matters."

WTMJ has reached out for comment from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.