House Pulls Health Care Bill from Consideration

Paul Ryan

posted on Monday, March 27, 2017

By  Stephen Collinson Dana Bash Phil Mattingly Deirdre Walsh, Lauren Fox and  MJ Lee, CNN
Washington (CNN)
Seven years of Republican efforts to eradicate President Barack Obama's proudest domestic achievement ended Friday before a single vote was cast.
House Speaker Paul Ryan sensationally pulled his Obamacare repeal bill from the floor Friday afternoon, a day after President Donald Trump had threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn't get a vote.
"We were very close," Trump said in the Oval Office after the bill was pulled. "It was a very, very tight margin."
The decision to delay the vote marks an acute embarrassment for the President, who had gambled big by presenting holdout House conservatives with a take-it-or-leave it ultimatum Thursday night and put his own credibility on the line.
But Trump repeatedly pointed the finger directly at Democrats, who all opposed the measure, rather than at his own party, which holds a significant majority in the House.
"We had no Democratic support," he said. "I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It's exploding right now."
Trump reiterated the point in a tweet Saturday morning, saying, "Obamacare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great health care plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!"The failure of the GOP plan also puts Ryan in a much weakened political position, after being defied by his own conference, which seems just as unsuited to governing in the Trump era as it was when it was effectively a protest coalition under Obama.
It became clear during a day of intense political intrigue that despite fierce arm-twisting by Trump, Ryan and other leaders that the votes simply were not there to pass the bill and the leadership and the White House were headed for a lopsided defeat.
They were unable to narrow the schism between Freedom Caucus conservatives, who believe the bill keeps too much of Obamacare intact, and moderates who worry they will pay an electoral price if millions of Americans lose health insurance.
The House meltdown on Obamacare repeal has perilous implications for the American health care system, with Republicans apparently unable to repeal the law but also unwilling to fix the deficiencies that the White House says will collapse the law.
"We came up short," Ryan told reporters. "We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."
"In my life, I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House today," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who spars often with Trump. "Today we've learned they can't count votes and they can't close a deal. So much for the art of the deal."
 

 

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