House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday suggested he was wary of a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Ryan said he was concerned that if the House Republican conference didn’t get a healthcare bill passed, President Donald Trump would move on and work with Democrats.
“What I worry about, Norah, is that if we don’t do this, then he’ll just go work with Democrats to try and change Obamacare, and that’s hardly a conservative thing,” Ryan told CBS reporter Norah O’Donnell.
“This is a can-do president who’s a business guy, who wants to get things done,” he added. “I know he wants to get things done with the Republican Congress, but if this Republican Congress allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good, I worry we’ll push the president into working with Democrats. He’s been suggesting that as much.”
Ryan also said he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “see things very, very differently,” and that he had not reached out to get bipartisan support for the American Health Care Act, the Republican healthcare bill Ryan pulled from the House floor before a vote last week.
Trump told reporters on Friday after the defeat of the AHCA that the bill did not have any Democratic support. He has suggested that going forward, a bipartisan approach may be the best way to get a healthcare plan through Congress.
Ryan also told CBS that despite the failure of the AHCA, Republicans still wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare, the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act.
“About 90% of our members are for this bill, and we’re not going to give up after seven years of dealing with this, after running on a plan all of last year, translating that plan into legislation, which is what this is,” Ryan said.
The GOP had no cohesive plan to replace Obamacare before it introduced the AHCA earlier this month, though Ryan, Trump, and numerous other Republicans had put forth rough proposals.
The AHCA ran into intraparty division among Republican representatives, as conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus felt the bill did not go far enough in repealing Obamacare, while moderates balked at the changes to Medicaid funding and the possibility that many Americans would lose insurance coverage.
Ryan said the leadership was still focused on addressing those issues with input from the Republican conference.
“We’re listening to people, and if we can make improvements to this bill, all the better,” Ryan said. “If improvements can be made to this legislation that get people to ‘yes,’ that’s great.”