The legislating to repeal and replace Obamacare will happen this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, though phasing in changes could take far more time.
“Our legislating will occur this year,” the Wisconsin Republican told his weekly Capitol Hill news conference. “What date all of this gets phased in on is something we do not know now.”
That’s been a criticism from Democrats about the repeal plan, and Ryan could not provide any specifics on how or when Obamacare would be replaced.
He spent much of the news conference blasting the current system but could not say how many people could be insured under any GOP plan.
“We have to provide relief for people. Our goal is to have a health care system that actually works,” he said.
But on replacement, he said, “We’re gonna be methodical. We’re gonna be deliberative and we’re going to do this the right way.”
And, Ryan said, “We’ll have a transition period so people do not have the rug pulled out from underneath them while we get to a better place.”
The Senate began debate Wednesday on the first step of the repeal process. Passage is expected next week. If approved, as expected, by both houses of Congress, committees would have to come up with repeal details by Jan. 27.