Republicans Withdraw Healthcare Replacement Bill
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 26, 2017,
Mar 26, 2017, 22:17
As he gave his brief press conference Friday afternoon confirming that Republicans had pulled their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan both looked and sounded like a hangdog high school football coach, spilling out a few defeated platitudes after watching his team get ground into the turf. "I want to thank the Republican Party", Trump said in a speech Friday.
That raised questions about how Republican leaders will deal with the stubborn conservative bloc on major issues like tax reform and infrastructure spending, and on how well Trump will be able to work with a divided party and a deeply polarized Congress.
Around noon, Speaker Ryan went to the White House and urged President Trump to cancel a vote because he did not have the votes to pass it, according to a senior administration official.
The White House said it remained optimistic about the bill. But ultimately, that tactic failed to persuade skeptical members of his party.
Republicans have for years sworn to undo the ACA. That means policies are likely to get steadily more expensive in many states both because there is little or no competition and because the people who have health insurance policies are more likely to have costly permanent medical conditions. If this can't be Trump's fault, because nothing ever is, then it has to be Ryan's, even as Trump kept saying the whole thing wasn't on Friday.
Earlier, Mr Ryan told reporters: "We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. The best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode". At the end of last month, Trump seemed to recognize, for the first time, the realities of overhauling the $3 trillion health-care industry when he lamented that "nobody knew health-care could be so complicated".
Conservative pundit Erick Erickson noticed that the president was trying to spread out more of the blame.
For his part, Trump said he's willing to work on a bipartisan effort sometime next year, telling the Washington Post's Robert Costa: "When it explodes they [Dems] come to us and we make one attractive deal". Individuals can wait to get health insurance until they get sick, and the tax penalties that individuals who don't get coverage are supposed to pay aren't big enough to motivate compliance with the ACA's requirement that everyone have health insurance.
Without so much as a vote, the Republican crusade to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed.
He said he would be open to working with Democratic leaders on a replacement bill in the future.
"I rise in strong opposition to this Draconian, Dracula-inspired health bill", U.S. Rep.
The bill was an ambitious attempt to roll back parts of Obamacare, keep its most popular elements, and overhaul the entire Medicaid system. There was also opposition from doctors, hospitals, consumer groups and AARP. It was a dramatic swing from Obamacare, which eventually earned the support of most of the health care lobbying and advocacy groups. "If we bring this down now, Trump will have lost all of his leverage to pass whatever bill it is, whether it's the tax bill or whatever reforms that he wants".
The amendment requires states to establish their own standards for "essential health benefits", for the objective of deciding which health plans can be used by people receiving federal tax credits to help pay premiums.