House Speaker Paul Ryan hopes Senate will pass health-care bill in 'a month or two'

Key Points
  • Senators are starting to craft their own version of an Obamacare replacement plan.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan says legislation "should not take that long."
President Donald Trump (C) turns to House Speaker Paul Ryan (3rdL) as he gathers with Congressional Republicans in the Rose Garden of the White House after the House of Representatives approved the American Healthcare Act, to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with the Republican healthcare plan, in Washington, May 4, 2017.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he hopes the Senate can pass a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act in a "month or two."

The House sent the replacement bill to the Senate last week amid protests that it acted too quickly on the plan. Now, the Senate — which often moves more slowly than the House — will look to craft a plan that's acceptable to nearly all of its Republican members, which could mean starting a bill from scratch.

Ryan told Fox News on Tuesday that the legislation "should not take that long."

"Hopefully, it takes a month or two to get it through the Senate," the Wisconsin Republican told "Fox and Friends."

The statement came ahead of an expected meeting of a 13-member working group of Senate Republicans who will craft a health-care plan. Several Republican senators have been skeptical about the House's American Health Care Act, partly due to a lack of a Congressional Budget Office assessment of its costs and effects, and its rollback of Medicaid expansion, among other issues.

The GOP has to balance the concerns of its members — it can only afford two Senate defections — while following rules that would allow it to pass a bill with a 51-vote majority. The Senate could take until its August recess to create a plan that can win the support needed, Politico reported Tuesday, citing Republican sources.

The senators working on the health-care plan will "continue to have regular updates with the entire conference so the Senate can continue to move expeditiously on the work ahead as it considers the House-passed legislation," David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said in a statement Friday.

President Donald Trump pushed the House to move quickly on legislation to replace Obamacare, a key Republican campaign pledge for most of the last decade. However, the White House has signaled it will not use similar tactics with the Senate.