House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office “validated” House Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare with a report estimating that the bill would reduce the federal deficit while leaving millions more people uninsured.
“I think if you read this entire report, I’m pretty encouraged by it and it actually exceeded my expectations,” Ryan told Fox’s Bret Baier.
He said that the CBO’s score for the bill is “encouraging” and gives legislators “even more room to work on, to make good fine-tuning finishing touches” on the legislation.
“Of course the CBO is going to say, if you’re not going to force people to buy something they don’t want to buy, they won’t buy it,” Ryan said. “That’s why you have those uninsured numbers, which we all expected.”
He called the bill “a good work in progress.”
“The point I’m saying is, what CBO did was they validated,” Ryan said. “We’re extremely excited about this and I’m really actually frankly encouraged.”
In its report released Monday, the CBO estimated that 24 million people would lose their insurance over the next 10 years under the repeal bill. It also estimated that the bill would save the government $6 billion dollars and reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
On Sunday, Ryan predicted that the report would estimate a drop in coverage, but agreed with President Donald Trump’s comment that the 2018 midterm elections will be a “bloodbath” for Republicans if they don’t pass the bill.
In a statement earlier Monday, Ryan said that nobody will have “the rug pulled out from under them” by the bill.
“I recognize and appreciate concerns about making sure people have access to coverage,” he said. “And, as we have long said, there will be a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.”