House Speaker Paul Ryan backed President Trump’s cutting of the Affordable Care Act subsidies and called for a “comprehensive” health care solution.
Trump last week announced he’s nixing the subsidies the feds pay to insurance companies to bring down out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers, a move that Dems have decried as “sabotaging” Obamacare.
But Ryan on Monday embraced passing repeal-and-replace legislation rather than congressional action to restore those payments.
“I think there’s a policy answer to be had here, but propping up Obamacare and just giving insurance subsidies to insurance carriers to keep a failing system propped up is not the answer,” he told reporters in Madison yesterday afternoon.
Ryan, who was one of the speakers at the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce State of Wisconsin Business & Industry luncheon in Madison, also singled out the Senate’s Graham-Cassidy bill in calling for a health care solution.
Part of that fix, he said, is bringing down premiums for everyone by allowing states to set up their own insurance markets “while protecting people who have catastrophic illness.”
“You repeal and replace this law and you replace it with a law that allows us to have choice and competition in health care, that allows states to set up competitive marketplaces,” Ryan said.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would convert Obamacare coverage expansions to a block grant for states, as well as convert Medicaid funding to a federal per enrollee cap. It did not receive a vote last month after three GOP senators said they’d oppose it.
Ryan also applauded Trump for cutting the insurance subsidies, which have never been officially been authorized by Congress.
“What President Trump is acknowledging is that the Constitution stands, that Congress has to appropriate and that’s why I’m pleased that he sided with the Constitution and the Congress on this case,” he said.
State Dem Party chair Martha Laning, meanwhile, blasted Ryan in a statement.
“Speaker Ryan and President Trump failed multiple times to pass any health care policy,” she said. “Now Ryan supports cruelly sabotaging the health care of millions of Americans, even though he knows that ending cost-sharing will cause chaos in the market. Democrats know people have the right to health care and Ryan is helping Trump take it away.”
See more in Monday’s PM Update.