Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whose American Health Care Act to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a significantly less generous system of tax credits, appears to be backing down on the plan after a Congressional Budget Office report concluded it would kick up to 24 million people off of health insurance.
In an interview with Fox News, Ryan said "of course" the GOP will consider changes to the bill, which they originally tried to fast-track through Congress with limited review.
"First of all, this is the replacement plan that we all ran on," Ryan said. He added "We're keeping this bill intact but we're obviously going to make some modifications per members' feedback."
"We have to write this in such a way that it can't get filibustered, that it can pass with 51 votes in the Senate," Ryan added.
The remarks are the clearest evidence yet that Ryan has been rattled by the response to the bill. Criticism has piled on from Democrats and Republican moderates on one side who fear kicking millions off of insurance, and conservatives on the other side who say the bill does not cut costs enough. Ryan previously tried to brush off criticism of the bill by touting its cost savings, though he neglected to mention most of those savings come from Medicaid expansion and cutting subsidies.
While Republicans hoped to rush the bill through after a secretive drafting process, the AHCA appears to be unpopular enough to drag down Trump's approval ratings, which as Real Clear Politics reports has slumped recently. A slight majority, 51%, disapproved of Trump's handling of the matter in a recent Quinnipiac poll.