Ryan won’t set time for 2nd try at Oba­macare

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

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.

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