Trump blames conservatives over Obamacare - and reaches out to Democrats

House leaders pulled the GOP health care bill from consideration Friday after it became clear Republicans did not have enough votes to pass the legislation, in part because of near-unified opposition from the Freedom Caucus.

Neither Trump nor the House leaders gave an indication about when a new health care bill would be ready for action. "That's going to require some answers from the Freedom Caucus", said centrist Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa.

"We must come together to find solutions to move this country forward", Poe said Sunday in a written statement.

"Saying "no" is easy, leading is hard but that is what we were elected to do".

Under the American Health Care Act, an estimated 4 million people would have lost health insurance this year alone, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus scolded conservative Republicans, explaining that Trump had felt "disappointed" that a "number of people he thought were loyal to him weren't".

Emerging from their first conference meeting since the setback, Republican members said the message from their leadership was direct: it's time to unify.

"I think it's going to happen because we've all been promising - Democrat, Republican - we've been promising that to the American people", he said.

"There remains political uncertainty" over Obamacare and what the Trump administration will do in terms of waivers, funding, local exchanges and more.

"We can't be chasing the ideal all the time", Mr. Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday on Fox News, raising the possibility that the White House will put less emphasis on negotiating with the caucus going forward and try to work with Democrats instead.

That's right - Trump's dealmaking skills were so bad during his push to repeal Obamacare that he couldn't even get more than half of his own voters on board with the legislation. "We are going to move on with rest of our agenda, keep that on track, while we work the healthcare problem".

Obama repeatedly said in defending his program that if anyone, including Republicans, came up with a better plan, then he would support it.

It was an interesting weekend for me watching the reactions to Friday's defeat of the Republican health care bill before a House vote could be held.

That's the lesson Trump took from this experience: Democrats whose motto is "Resist!" would be more reasonable partners to work with than the Freedom Caucus.

Following the bill's defeat, Ryan said the ACA would remain the "law of the land until it's replaced". And if there's any kind of disconnect, I think it really is focused on the fact that the Trump agenda is one that is not as similar to the agenda that the party's been about in the last eight years.

For Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, it was a shattering loss.

Republican US Representative Ted Poe resigned from the House Freedom Caucus on Sunday over the conservative legislative group's role in sinking a healthcare overhaul championed by President Donald Trump.

In their Sunday conversation, Mr Trump "was clear his tweet had nothing to do with the speaker", Ms Strong said. The Republicans were banking on the new healthcare plan saving some $1 trillion (920 billion euros), which would help enable their tax cuts without raising the national debt.

  • Salvatore Jensen