House Speaker Paul Ryan denied Wednesday night that the rollout of the American Health Care Act had been “chaos,” saying conservative Republicans and others critical of the bill had had a chance to shape it.
“I don’t think it really is chaos,” Ryan said in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “A year ago, House Republicans said, we need to take a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare to the country. We spent a year working on this plan, all House Republicans participated in this, we had these working groups where anybody who had an idea brought it to the table. And then we reached consensuses as conservatives, as Republicans, on what that plan looked like. We called it ‘A Better Way,’ we put it on the internet, we all ran for Congress in 2016 on it that plan.”
“It was modeled on the Tom Price legislation, that’s what this is,” he continued. “This is the legislative text of that plan that we ran in 2016, on what we would replace Obamacare with. Tom Price, who is now the secretary of HHS, was the architect of it. Twelve Freedom Caucus members were the co-sponsors of that bill as recently as December.”
Many conservatives in the House and Senate have been critical of the bill and its rollout, including, on Thursday morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who said “we should have had more time to digest it.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) advised his colleagues in the House on Twitter: “pause, start over. Get it right, don’t get it fast.”