Dissent Forces House GOP to Pull Bill Repealing Obamacare
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Mar 26, 2017,
Mar 26, 2017, 21:40
Moments after their hopes of undoing Obamacare unraveled, President Donald Trump and top Republicans said in unison that they're moving on to another ambitious goal - overhauling the us tax code. "We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats", Trump said in the Oval Office.
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was dead on arrival.
More than two dozen members of the House Freedom Caucus oppose the health care plan because they say it doesn't go far enough to undo Obamacare.
House opposition to the health care bill came both from moderates, as well as from hard-core, market purists, notably the Freedom Caucus.
The Freedom Caucus is a hard-right group of House members who were largely responsible for blocking the bill to undo the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare".
He said, "It's a disaster for the health care system and for the public, because a lot more people will lose insurance and be uninsured". He later added: "The American people are going to feel the pain that was caused by a small component of our conference".
The announcement capped a week of chaotic activity at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, as Trump, Ryan and their lieutenants tried desperately to round up votes for the measure they introduced less than three weeks ago ― which they were attempting to move through the legislative process at breakneck speed.
As the House of Representatives prepares to vote today on the GOP's alternative to Obamacare, a question hovering over negotiations on the bill is whether President Trump's reputation as a dealmaker in business can translate to working with Congress.
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisc., passes a waving tourist as he walks from the House Chamber to his office on Capitol Hill Friday in Washington as the House nears a vote on their health care overhaul.
In a closed-door meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday, the president cautioned them not to be "fools".
Rep. Mark Walker, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, which has roughly 170 members, said less than an hour prior to the vote being cancelled that he thought there could be benefits to going ahead since doing so would force opponents to go on record.
I'm sure the zealots will happily take credit for this bill's failure, but that stands as a reminder that the Republican policy vision is, as always, guided by the most extreme elements within the party. "When it explodes, which it will soon, if [Democrats] got together with us and got a real health care bill, I'd be totally open to it". I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law.
"ObamaCare will remain the law of the land until it's replaced", he said.
Democrats reacted gleefully to news of the bill's withdrawal, saying if Republicans couldn't pass their top legislative priority, they'd struggle to unite behind anything else.
As the blame game for the embarrassing failure kicked into high gear, many disgruntled Republicans targeted Ryan.
Long before Barack Obama took office, numerous most basic policy choices had been hashed out among health reform advocates, interest groups, and experts left and center, meeting in various configurations.
Republicans who backed the bill spoke of an opportunity lost, the chance to make good on a campaign promise they'd made the day Obamacare became law eight years ago.