Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday said he was "encouraged" by a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that projected the number of uninsured people would grow by 14 million in 2018 under the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill.
"I think if you read this entire report, I'm pretty encouraged by it," Ryan said Monday on Fox News.
"And it actually exceeded my expectations."
The CBO report found that 24 million people would become uninsured by 2026. The losses would largely be due to the proposed changes in Medicaid.
The GOP bill ends the extra federal funds for the expansion of Medicaid and caps overall federal spending for the program.
Ryan on Monday pointed to the reason why the CBO projected so many more people would be uninsured.
"We're saying the government's not going to force people to buy something that they don't want to buy," he said.
"And if we end an ObamaCare mandate that says you must buy this government one-size-fits-all plan, guess what? People aren't going to buy that."
Ryan said "of course" the CBO is suggesting that if the government isn't going to "make people do something they don't want to do, they're not going to buy it."
"But at the same time, they're saying our reforms will kick in and lower premiums and make healthcare therefore more accessible," he said.
"This is just part one of a three-part plan, and that's why I'm excited. Just this, they say, lowers premiums, stabilizes the market, gives people more choice and freedom."
Ryan said ObamaCare is in the "middle of a collapse."
"This, compared to the status quo, is far better. I'm excited about this analysis," he said.
"And yeah, I think they sort of overestimated the uninsured number, just like they overestimated who would be insured by ObamaCare, but I do believe that if we're not going to force people to buy something they don't want to buy, they won't buy it, and that's kind of obvious."
He said the CBO report "gives us even more room to work on to make good fine tuning, finishing touches on this bill."