(CBS NEWS) -- As Republicans work to pitch their health care plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he can’t say how many people would lose coverage under the new legislation -- and that it will be “up to people” to decide whether they want to purchase coverage.

Asked in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” approximately how many people will lose coverage if the American Health Care Act is passed, Ryan replied: “I can’t answer that question. It’s up to people.”

“Here’s the premise of your question. Are you going to stop mandating people buy health insurance,” Ryan said. “People are going to do what they want to do with their lives because we believe in individual freedom in this country.”

“So the question is: Are we providing a system where people have access to health insurance if they choose to do so?” he continued. “And the answer is yes. But are we going to have some nice-looking spreadsheet that says, ‘We, the government of the American—the United States, are going to make people buy something and therefore they’re all going to buy it’? No.”

Ryan said he believes the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the bill, which will be available before members vote on it, will find that some Americans will lose coverage.

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