Casting his ObamaCare replacement bill as the only chance to save America from a complete health-care collapse, Speaker Paul Ryan Sunday countered his conservative critics who say the bill fails to make good on Republicans' promise to repeal ObamaCare.
"Understand the speaker’s plan doesn’t repeal ObamaCare," a member of the House Republicans' Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said Sunday. "Even Charles Krauthammer said that, called it ObamaCare Lite, as you said earlier. It doesn’t bring down premiums and it doesn’t unite Republicans. So, why not do what we all voted for just 15 months ago, clean repeal, and then get focused and build some momentum to actually replace ObamaCare with something that’s going to bring down costs?"
Ryan said his bill, called the American Health Care Act, is in fact the only way to successfully repeal ObamaCare.
"Look, when you are a governing party getting consensus among your wide, big-tent party, not — everybody doesn’t get what they want, but we are getting much better policy here," the Speaker of the House said of his conservative critics. "Let me put it this way: Obamacare is collapsing. If we just did nothing, washed our hands of the situation, we would see a further collapse of the health insurance markets. So we feel an obligation to step in front of that collapse and replace this law with one that works, that has more freedom."
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is another Republican critic of Ryan's handling of ObamaCare's repeal. He says Ryan's bill makes the current problems in ObamaCare even worse, and is calling to slow down the process.
Ryan countered that he's been working on this bill for six months.
"This has been a long and deliberative process," he said during an interview on Face the Nation. "Suggesting that this is moving fast, going through four committees, going through regular order, saying we are going to do this for seven years, and now come to the point where we are actually on the cusp of keeping our word, I hardly think that that is rushing things."
"The point I would say is, this is historic, this is historic, and it’s significant," Ryan continued. "And if we don’t act, the system is going to collapse."
UPDATE: In an interview Monday on Fox News, Ryan further claimed that failing to pass the American Health Care Act will mean tax cuts are off the table.