House Speaker Paul Ryan said on May 9 that the bill to end the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the GOP's American Health Care Act (AHCA) should pass through the Senate in "a month or two" but suggested that it could take years to actually implement the new law.
"The legislation should not take that long" to pass, Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends," according to Business Insider. "Hopefully it takes a month or two to get it through the Senate. Hopefully it takes a month or two. Because we need to give people the ability to plan. The insurers are pulling out very, very quickly. And we need to show the insurers there's a better system coming. Stay in the market."
Though he promised a fast turnaround, Ryan warned that a lot needs to be done before a bill passes into law.
"It's not going to turn on overnight," he explained. "It takes a couple of years to put a new plan in place. It took about six years for Obamacare to get put up in the first place."
In order for the AHCA to clear the Senate through a partisan vote, Republicans can only afford to have two holdouts.
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When the bill was first introduced, Ryan encouraged everyone interested to read its full text and promised that it would provide "relief to Americans who are fed up with skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices" by allowing them more freedom to choose their own free market plans, according to KSAV-TV.
"This bill … keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare," the Speaker said at the time.
Democrats have criticized the plan, an original draft of which was released publicly on March 24, for not at first including certain amendments, such as an $8 billion authorization to go toward state healthcare programs, notes Business Insider.
Ryan said that the notion that legislators and members of the public did not have enough time to read through and understand the bill was just an instance of "the left trying to throw sand in the gears" of the AHCA's progress.
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"Our bill was online for a couple of months -- the last amendment was a three-page amendment," Ryan added. "Obamacare was over 2,000 pages. Our bill is less than 200 pages. Ours was posted only for over a month -- any American, anyone in the world, could read this bill."