Paul Ryan Says Health Care ‘Legislating Is Going To Be Done This Year’

February 7, 2017 10:48 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said that legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would be completed this year. That schedule could be seen as conflicting with President Donald Trump’s proposed timeline for a replacement, which he said over the weekend could “take till sometime into next year.”

As TPM reported Tuesday, conservatives are growing frustrated over the slow pace of repealing the health care law.

Ryan seemed intent on reconciling the differences in forecasts at a news conference Tuesday.

“I think there’s a little confusion here,” Ryan said, after being asked about Trump’s schedule for a health care bill. “The legislating is going to be done this year. We are going to be done legislating, with respect to health care and Obamacare, this year. The question is, how long does it take to implement the full replacement of Obamacare? And that’s why, honestly, we’ve got to get Tom Price over at HHS, Seema Verma confirmed at CMS, so they can get to work with replacing this collapsing law.”

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) is Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Seema Verma is his nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“So the question about how long it takes to effectuate the change, how long it takes to put these things in place, that’s a question that the HHS can answer,” Ryan continued. “But as far as legislating is concerned, we’re going to be doing our legislating this year.”

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Donald Trump appeared cautious on his expectations for an Obamacare replacement when asked if Americans could expect a new health care plan “this year.”

“Yes, in the process and maybe it’ll take till sometime into next year, but we’re certainly going to be in the process,” he said. “Very complicated ― Obamacare is a disaster. You have to remember Obamacare doesn’t work, so we are putting in a wonderful plan. It statutorily takes a while to get. We’re going to be putting it in fairly soon. I think that, yes, I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

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