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.