Ryan Won’t Say How Long GOPers Will Take To Replace Obamacare After Repeal

December 8, 2016 1:25 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday would not say how quickly he would like Congressional Republicans to replace Obamacare after they repeal the health care law.

“We’ll get to that next year,” Ryan told reporters when asked how long the transition away from Obamacare would be. “We just had a meeting with all our authorizers this morning about working on this with the Senate and the transition team. Those talks are ongoing.”

Republicans in the Senate are considering waiting three years after repealing Obamacare to fully replace it. But the incoming leader of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), has come out against that plan and said that he would prefer replacing the law within two years. Meadows argued that waiting three years would put an unfair burden on the next Congress after the 2018 elections.

When asked about concern from members about waiting for three years during a press briefing, Ryan would not offer his preference.

“We’re going to have these kinds of conversations. I don’t have an opinion on exactly what that timeline will be,” he said. “There’s a lot of moving parts, and we have a lot of dialogue that we have to have with just our friends in the Senate and with the White House on the transition. So it’s just premature to suggest that we know how exactly long this transition is.”

The speaker did emphasize that he believes any Obamacare replacement plan will need some sort of transition.

“There needs to be a reasonable transition so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them,” he said at the press briefing Thursday. “And that is obviously something we intend on doing.”

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