Ryan Open to Changing Health Care Bill, Still Wants It Rushed Through

Man, the Republicans are absolutely desperate to get their health care destruction (not reform) bill passed as quickly as possible. Paul Ryan knows it can’t pass the way it is, so he says he’s open to making changes to the bill — but still wants a vote on it before the CBO can report on the impact of those changes.

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Speaker Paul Ryan announced Sunday he would be willing to make major changes to the Republican health care bill this week, but not push back the scheduled vote Thursday. He’s considering those changes in response to division among party members over the bill in its current form: conservatives say they won’t vote for it because it’s “Obamacare-lite,” while moderates are spooked by the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that 24 million Americans stand to lose coverage if it passes, among other warning signs.

He told Chris Wallace Sunday that unspecified changes would “help bring market freedom and regulatory relief to the insurance markets to dramatically lower the price of the plan for the 50- and 60-year-olds.” Other changes under discussion would impose work requirements for people receiving Medicaid benefits and increase tax credits for older Americans.

But Ryan wants members of Congress to vote on the updated bill before they know what its impact on constituents will be. The House will still vote on Thursday, before the CBO has a chance to make another assessment.

Ryan is not historically a skeptic of CBO’s findings: he asked that nonpartisan body for an assessment of his “Path to Prosperity” budget plan in 2012, although he pre-supposed an outcome to get the numbers he was hoping for. He has relied on the office’s findings to bolster support for other of his measures. Back in 2009, Ryan himself requested CBO score the Affordable Care Act even before markup.

And that’s always the way it is — the CBO is great, unless they disagree with what I want to be true. Then they’re horrible and should be ignored. It’s like Ryan is frantically trying to stay a step ahead of reality as it catches up to the fact that his bill would be an unmitigated disaster that would result in millions and millions of people losing their health insurance, untold numbers of them dying from perfectly treatable conditions, more hospital bankruptcies and, quite possibly, the destruction of the entire market for individual health insurance. Run, Paul, run. Don’t let those facts catch up to you.

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