Paul Ryan: AHCA has to do more for older Americans

Posted March 20, 2017

Host Chris Wallace used an example from the Congressional Budget Office report that said a 64-year-old making $26,500 annually would owe up to $1700 in out-of-pocket expenses under the Affordable Care Act; that same 64 year-old would owe up to $14,600 in out-of-pocket expenses under Ryan's American Health Care Act, over half their income.

"We're not going to make people buy something that's so expensive that they can't afford, that the market is not going to offer", the Speaker insisted. "And the point I would say is, we're going to let people buy what they want to buy".

The healthcare overhaul is the major legislative initiative of US President Donald Trump.

"The person in their 50s or 60s does have additional health care costs than, say, a person in their 20s and 30s", Ryan continued.

Ryan argued that Obamacare was "not going to last", and he agreed that older people were not getting enough assistance under his plan.

But seniors groups, long considered among the most powerful interest groups on Capitol Hill, have also led the charge in denouncing AHCA.

"We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill now does for lower-income people age 50 to 64", Ryan said. Yes, the GOP is keeping its promise - to make sure elderly folks depart this earth as quickly as possible, and the only coverage we'll have is the dirt covering our dead bodies.

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, said the Trump administration was open to changes to address the effects on older Americans and other concerns.

But there's enough Republican opposition in the Senate to put the House plan in trouble there unless significant changes are made. Votes House Speaker Paul Ryan needs to pass the bill. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CBS' "Face the Nation".

"If Republicans hold a big press conference and pat ourselves on the back that we've repealed Obamacare and everyone's premiums keep going up, people will be ready to tar and feather us on the streets, and quite rightly", Cruz said.