The insider setting the GOP’s agenda for change
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) entered the new year vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and force a veto from the White House.
The House last week passed the Senate bill to repeal the 2010 federal health law. New policies from Republicans in Congress will follow, Ryan told listeners of a conservative talk show in December.
“We owe people an alternative, and that’s exactly what we’re going to lay out,” he vowed.
Ryan, who ascended to House speaker in October after John Boehner resigned under pressure from the party’s right, so far has said little about what those policies might be. During his short tenure as House speaker, Ryan has repeatedly promised an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which has overhauled insurance regulation, expanded the nation’s safety net in more than half of the states and sharply reduced the number of uninsured.
“When people ask me what’s wrong with the law, I usually say to them, how much time do you have?” he said recently. “We think this problem is so urgent that, next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of Obamacare.”
In years past, the Janesville, Wis., native has also put forward major changes to Medicare and Medicaid, hoping to push privatization and premium support or vouchers for the former and block grants to the states for the latter.
Look for Ryan, whose early political influences included Ayn Rand and the late U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, to play a prominent role in championing those changes.
Organization U.S. House of Representatives
Tenure in job
Since October 2015
Previous position Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee Paul Ryan