POLITICS

Asked For A 'Policy Risk,' Paul Ryan Says: Replace Obamacare

On this front, at least, the new speaker is kinda like the last speaker.

Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has pledged that his tenure will feature a different tone and approach than how the House has operated in the past few years. But on measures of policy, the issues that he seems poised to tackle look very much the same.

Asked during an interview with “Face the Nation” on Sunday what “policy risk” he would pursue, Ryan replied with tax reform and then this oldie but goodie.

 I think we should say what Obamacare replacement looks like. People don't like Obamacare. Members of Congress don't like Obamacare. Most of us in the majority, we all voted against this. But I think if you take a look at the premiums, if you take a look at the fact that decisions are being taken away from patients and their doctors, the people are starving for an alternative to this vision.

It’s been many, many years since House Republicans started talking about charting out an Obamacare replacement plan. It never gets a vote even as plans to repeal the full law or parts of it often do.

Ryan may feel more emboldened to push a replacement plan more forcefully now that he’s running the House. But it's more likely than not that he will wait for the presidential elections to conclude to give deference to a Republican nominee on how he or she would like to change the current system. That's why he pledged to "say" what an Obamacare replacement looks like, not "vote" on it. 

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