Ryan embraces Trump's call for special session to repeal ObamaCare

Ryan embraces Trump's call for special session to repeal ObamaCare
© Getty Images

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump once asked Paul Ryan why he couldn’t be ‘loyal': book AEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday embraced Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE’s call for a special session of Congress to repeal ObamaCare. 

Ryan, who has at times had a tense relationship with Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, also said repeal of ObamaCare is a reason why Trump should be president. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Imagine if we had a Republican president,” Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “This is what Donald Trump is talking about — a special session. We’ve already proven this year with a Republican House and a Republican Senate we can have that special session, and we can repeal, and we can replace ObamaCare.”

Ryan said Republicans would use a process called reconciliation, which would allow a repeal measure to get through the Senate with just a simple majority, rather than the usual 60. 

That means if Republicans hold the Senate and Trump wins the White House on Nov. 8, Ryan says ObamaCare would be repealed.

It is unclear why a special session would be needed, given that Congress is already scheduled to come into session in early January, before the new president is inaugurated. 

Asked about the need for a special session as opposed to a regular one, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said of the Speaker’s comments: “He was embracing the idea that we can repeal and replace ObamaCare, which we’ve proven we can. Replacement here: better.gop”

Both Ryan and Trump have been seizing on premium increases under ObamaCare, which the administration said last month would be an average of 25 percent for a benchmark plan. 

Democrats note that 85 percent of enrollees get financial assistance to cushion the impact. 

They also warn that repealing the law would take away health insurance for the 20 million people who have gained it under ObamaCare. 

Both Trump and Ryan point to their plans for replacing the health law, though the ideas have some differences.

For example, Trump proposes a tax deduction to help people afford coverage, while the House GOP plan proposes a refundable tax credit, which has the potential to give lower-income people more assistance by allowing them to actually get money back. 

Still, both plans call for a system with less regulation of what insurance must cover, allowing for cheaper plans to be offered. Both plans would also do away with ObamaCare’s mandate to buy coverage. 

Trump's and Ryan’s plans would protect people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage if they are switching plans, which goes less far than ObamaCare, which also protects uninsured people with pre-existing conditions getting coverage for the first time. 

Ryan’s plan, at 37 pages, is more detailed than Trump’s. Still, Ryan’s plan does not include dollar figures like how big the tax credit would be, stifling efforts to assess the full budgetary effect or the full effect on how many people would be covered. 

Ryan and Trump argue, though, that ObamaCare is so bad that it must be replaced. 

Ryan notes that about a third of U.S. counties will have just one insurer to choose from, and premiums are rising sharply. 

“That’s really not a choice,” Ryan said. “That’s a monopoly. And you predictably have these massive price increases. The law is absolutely failing.”