Ryan won’t set time for 2nd try at Obamacare
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday he’s hopeful that Republicans can rally around a health care bill, but he’s not willing to place odds on their chances of success or a timetable for getting it done after the first try failed in spectacular fashion.
The Wisconsin Republican said his troops were “90 percent” there on the first try last month, yet conservatives said the bill wouldn’t slash premiums, and centrists said too many people would end up uninsured.
“We were very close, but not close enough, so we’ve got to get a little closer, and that means members need to talk to each other and understand each other’s concerns and find where the common ground is,” Mr. Ryan told the WisPolitics Luncheon in D.C.
As it stands, the White House is dispatching Vice President Mike Pence to Capitol Hill to help GOP leaders find the “sweet spot” between the factions.
“We’re having a very productive conversation. We’re all at the concepts stage right now,” Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan’s comments suggest there is little hope of putting a revised bill on the floor before lawmakers leave this weekend for an Easter recess.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday the latest Gallup Poll suggested that Republican inability to repeal Obamacare is being accompanied by increasing public support for the long-unpopular program.
The pollsters said 55 percent now approve of the Affordable Care Act, compared to just 42 percent right after the election and the first time Gallup has shown majority support for Obamacare since the pollster started asking about it in 2012.
People of every political affiliation were more likely to support the law than in November, driven in large part by independents, who’ve increased their support by 17 percentage points, compared to 10 each for Republicans and Democrats.
However, only a quarter of Americans want to keep Obamacare as it is. About 40 percent want to reform the law, while 30 percent want to repeal and replace it.
Yet approval ratings have ticked upward of late, as Republicans who control Congress and the White House fail to rally around a replacement plan that can satisfy disparate wings of their own party.
“Trump vehemently attacked the Affordable Care Act during his presidential campaign — and in the days immediately following his election, the public appeared to agree with him,” Gallup said.