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Paul Ryan Responds to CBO Health Care Score: ‘There is More to the Story than what the Number Implies’

Just one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its score of the Senate’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – saying the new play would leave 22 million uninsured over a 10 year period – Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters he thinks that “there is more to the story than what the number implies.”

Ryan said that “it’s important that we have a referee,” referring to the CBO’s role in providing accurate information to lawmakers to help them understand and vote on national policy.

Ryan also noted that the current director of the CBO is a Republican appointee placed in the position by former Rep. Tom Price, who is now President Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

The speaker also acknowledged the small majority that the Senate Republicans have in the U.S. Senate and the difficulties his colleagues in the upper chamber will have in passing their health care plan; however, Ryan said he “would not bet against [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell.”

He also said that he has “every expectation” that the Senate bill will eventually pass, even though he said he believes that some aspects of the bill will change.

Ryan, who oversaw the passage of the House’s version of a health care bill earlier this year, was asked what his advice is for McConnell to get similar legislation passed in the Senate. “It’s private,” Ryan joked before refusing to share details of the conversations between him and the Senate majority leader.