Paul Ryan On Health Care Defeat: We Came Up Short

Posted: Mar 24, 2017 4:33 PM

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan held a brief press conference after the Republican health care replacement bill was pulled before an official vote. The speaker met with President Trump earlier today, where Ryan informed the White House that the votes were not there for the American Health Care Act. Trump reportedly asked Ryan to then pull the legislation from consideration.

He said that the shift from being an opposition party to a governing party has its “growing pains,” and that they came up short today. Ryan said that doing big things is hard in Congress, and much more remains on the table to improve the lives of Americans, which is what he and others in the Republican caucus plan to do after this legislative defeat.

Ryan had no regrets. He was proud of this bill, which he said would have provided relief to families struggling under the regulatory burdens of Obamacare. He also said that the worst is yet to come for Americans regretting the effects of this bill.

He thanked President Trump, Vice President Pence, the White House staff, and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for their contributions during this process.

Yet, he also said that this is a setback, but it’s not the end of the story. Ryan said that the GOP caucus is more motivated to step up their game and deliver on their promises.

When asked who’s to blame for the sinking on this bill, Ryan refused to point fingers, adding that a consensus couldn’t be reached, as a significant number of Republicans couldn’t be persuaded to switch their votes.

He lamented how Obamacare is and remains to be the law of the land until it gets replaced. Ryan also didn’t give a definite timeline on when this law will be repealed either, noting that House Republicans will be moving on to other items on their domestic agenda, like tax reform, rebuilding our military, and securing the border. He also conceded that the Obamacare taxes will remain law, but they’ll work on reforming the rest of the code.

The speaker also said he thinks HHS Secretary Tom Price can do some things to stabilize the health care market, but without legislation, a lot of the tools to make effective changes are now off the table.

President Trump also said that he does not blame Ryan in this failed attempt to repeal Obamacare.