WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks at his weekly press conference, after a third House committee approved the American Health Care Act as part of an open, transparent process:
“Today, the House Budget Committee took up the American Health Care Act. It is the third committee to debate this bill as part of our ongoing open and transparent regular order process. We look forward to strong support there, putting us another step closer toward keeping our promise—keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. From there, the bill will go to a fourth committee before it goes to the House floor.
“Lastly, as we have said from the start, repeal and replace will be a step-by-step approach. That is why, yesterday, the Majority Leader announced that the House will begin considering additional legislation. This includes reforms like:
- Eliminating the anti-trust protections to create more competition. This will help make sure people are not left with few or no choices, like we’re seeing across the country.
- Allowing small businesses to pool together across the country, giving our small businesses more purchasing power so they will have more choices and lower costs, and they’ll be able to harness the power of bulk buying, like large companies do.
- Medical malpractice reform. That helps prevent abusive lawsuits. It helps cut down on defensive medicine, which is another way that we can lower costs and increase choices.
“These are just a few of the ideas . . . ideas we strongly believe in—they were part of our Better Way plan—but we know that cannot advance all of them through the reconciliation process.
“That is why we are acting on these reforms separately, but also immediately, concurrently. We’re not going to wait on these things.
“So, you all remember the slide last week:
“First, we pass our bill to repeal Obamacare’s taxes, mandates, and spending, and we replace all that with reforms that build a better, patient-centered, market-based system.
“Second, Secretary Tom Price will take administrative actions to help lower costs and increase consumer choices, and restore market freedom and states’ rights.
“Third, we pass these additional reforms that I just mentioned, and there are others behind that, to further lower costs and increase choices for families.
“We’re very pleased with where we are, because we’re on track and on schedule with where we have been intending to be this whole time.
“We made a promise. We made a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. We are going to keep our promise to the people that elected us.”