Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan was joined by members of the House Republican conference to discuss the progress made in our effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"This has been a productive week in the House as we continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. As I have said before, this promise is just too important and the consequences of inaction are too dire for American families for us to just give up.
"That’s why over the last couple weeks we have encouraged members from across the conference—you see many of them represented here today—to come together and try to find consensus. In particular, I want to thank Kevin Brady and Greg Walden—our two chairman—for being so engaged in these conversations and these talks. While we still have work to do to get all the way there, we have made some real progress this week. That’s why we’re all here today.
"We have come together on a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections for those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care. This brings us closer to the final agreement we all want to achieve. This idea was offered by two of our most conservative members, Gary Palmer and Dave Schweikert, but it has been embraced by a broad spectrum of our conference, as you can see by just a few of the members here today.
"I’ll let the authors speak more about it, but let me just say briefly: This amendment would create a new federal risk-sharing program. It is a high-risk pool that will lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions and lower costs for everyone else. And the authors of this amendment will go into more detail. Following votes today, I have asked the House Rules Committee to mark up this amendment and add it to what we were already considering before.
"I want to thank Gary and Dave for being so productive throughout this process. Their amendment makes this a much better bill. It gets us closer. This is the kind of collaborative, bottom-up effort that we have been looking for. Like I said, we have more work to do, and those conversations continue to take place and they really show promise. But this amendment alone is real progress and will help us build momentum for delivering on our pledge to the country."