Ryan Insists Phase Three Of Repeal Plan Would Get Democratic Votes

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March 15, 2017 8:38 am
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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday evening insisted that the GOP’s three part plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is viable despite doubts from some Republican senators.

During an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, Ryan noted that Republicans cannot include every provision they want in this initial bill to repeal and replace Obamacare because they must use the reconciliation process. That process only requires 51 votes in the Senate, so it could pass with only Republican support. Ryan said that Republicans have a “three part process” because of that restriction. The second phase would be regulations from the executive branch, and the third phase is additional legislation that would need Democratic votes in the Senate to pass.

MacCallum noted that there are concerns that a second bill would not get Democratic votes, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) have warned this week.

However, Ryan dismissed those doubts and argued that Democrats would support provisions like allowing trade or professional associations to offer health insurance plans to members.

“I look forward to seeing Democrats try and kill that idea,” he said.

The speaker also told MacCallum that Republican leaders have been soliciting feedback and are open to making some changes to the legislation.

“We’re keeping this bill intact, but we’re obviously going to make some modifications per members’ feedback,” he said.

“We want to listen to our members and make improvements to the bill, so long as those improvements don’t make the bill harder to pass,” he added later.

As for senators with qualms about the bill, Ryan told them to make their own modifications when it reaches that chamber.

“If senators have a problem, they have their own process to go with over there, so I would suggest senators should just amend the bill when it comes over there. This is the legislative process,” he said.

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