Greg Nash

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that lawmakers need to “revisit” ObamaCare, but also pointed to welfare reform as the focus of next year. 

“ObamaCare is collapsing and failing, so we won’t be able to ignore that problem,” Ryan said at a news conference. “So we’re going to have to revisit the problem of a health-care marketplace that is collapsing and that is something that we’re just going to have to get on to.”
 
However, Ryan did not make clear whether ObamaCare repeal would be part of next year’s fast-track process known as reconciliation to get a measure through the Senate without needing Democratic votes.  {mosads}
 
Republicans only get one shot at that process next year, and Ryan mentioned health care after saying that welfare reform would be the focus of the fast-track process next year. 
 
“Next year, we want to take on criminal justice reform, we want to take on skills, getting people the skills they need to get the jobs they want, career and technical career education and welfare reform, so those are the kind of entitlement reforms that we’re talking about,” Ryan said. 
 
Some conservatives want the fast-track reconciliation bill to include both welfare reform and ObamaCare repeal. 
 
Any effort on health care faces long odds in the Senate, made even tougher by the victory of Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama this week. Senate Republicans will be able to lose only one vote, and more than that number of Republican senators opposed various ObamaCare repeal efforts earlier this year. 
 
Democrats have also been warning that Ryan would target Medicare and Medicaid next year, programs the Speaker said this month that he wanted to reform next year. 
 
Ryan’s comments on Thursday, though, did not mention Medicare or Medicaid, instead focusing on welfare and workforce issues as “entitlement reform.”  
Tags Paul Ryan

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