House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn’t want to negotiate with Democrats on health care reform despite Republicans’ failure to pass a White House-backed measure last week to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“I don’t want that to happen. You know why? I want a patient-centered system, I don’t want government running health care,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell. “The government shouldn’t tell you what you must do with your life, with your health care. We should give people choices.”
Ryan said he worries that if Republicans are unsuccessful in passing their own reforms, “then [Mr. Trump will] just go work with Democrats to try and change Obamacare and that’s not, that’s hardly a conservative thing.”
“This is a can-do president, who’s a business guy, who wants to get things done, and I know that he wants to get things done with a 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, um, working with the Democrats; he’s suggested as much,” he added.
Asked if he has reached out to Democrats on health care, Ryan said, “No, I’m trying to get this bill passed,” he said of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which lacked enough support to pass the lower chamber last week.
Ryan’s comments didn’t go over well with one of his fellow Republicans, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
“We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem.” Corker said in a tweet Thursday morning.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, suggested that Republicans and Democrats should try and reach a compromise on health care.
“When the Democrats rammed through Obamacare, they did it on a strict partisan basis. We did not include the Democrats in negotiations on Obamacare. The issue is not going away,” the Arizona Republican said.
“We’ve got to go back and address this issue on a bipartisan basis, and we can’t wait until people are without health care,” he added. “We’ve got to have some bipartisanship around here, otherwise we’re not going to get much done.”