The in­sider set­ting the GOP’s agenda for change

Modern Healthcare - - POLITICS - —Me­lanie Evans

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.

Po­si­tionHouse speaker

Or­ga­ni­za­tion U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives

Ten­ure in job

Since Oc­to­ber 2015

Pre­vi­ous po­si­tion Chair­man of House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee Paul Ryan

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