- The Washington Times - Friday, January 13, 2017

A prominent Democratic congressman said Friday that lawmakers have an obligation to ensure their constituents have health care coverage, and he vowed to work with Republicans on replacing Obamacare if the law is soon repealed.

Appearing on CNN on Friday morning, Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Democrat, said he believes its foolish for the GOP to scrap the Affordable Care Act and argued it’s being done purely for political reasons. Despite that, he said he’d work with Republicans on replacing the law, if it comes to that, and admonished all members of his party to put the needs of the people in their districts ahead of politics.

“If people are thrown off their health care and that happens immediately, that’s going to be a real problem that is going to need to be fixed. But right now, this is a problem they’re creating on their own,” said Mr. Ryan, who recently mounted a losing challenge to Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Democrats’ leader in the House.

Asked whether Democrats would look for “payback” and merely obstruct the Republican agenda rather than seek common ground, Mr. Ryan said such tactics would be foolish.

“I’m not here to pay anybody back,” he said. “I’m not here to put my own agenda before the agenda of the American people or people who need health care. Look, if people in my district are thrown off their health care and they have nowhere else to go, I think we all have an obligation to try to fix it, try to be a part of the solution. But the reality of this — and everybody should know this — this does not need repealed. It needs fixed.”

The Senate on Thursday took the first step toward repealing the law, and the House could follow suit with a vote as early as Friday.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised that Obamacare will be repealed shortly after he assumes office Jan. 20.

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