Paul Ryan Town Hall 02
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(CNN) —  

An audience member at CNN’s town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama saved his life through the Affordable Care Act.

Jeff Jeans of Sedona, Arizona, told Ryan, who is leading the fight in the House to repeal Obamacare, that he had been a small business owner and “lifelong Republican” before being diagnosed with cancer, with just six weeks to live, at age 49.

“I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart because I would be dead if it weren’t for him,” Jeans told Ryan on Thursday night, receiving applause from the audience.

He posed a question: “Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act Without a replacement?”

Ryan said Republicans do not plan to repeal the law without better legislation.

“Oh, we wouldn’t do that,” said Ryan. “We want to replace it with something better.”

“I am glad you are standing here,” the speaker added.