GOP pulls bill to repeal Obamacare

Author

30 March, 2017

"We have to do better and we will", he added.

Sean Spicer said 120 Congressmen and women had met Mr Trump to discuss the bill.

Just weeks after House Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare - a central campaign promise from Congress and the president - the Wisconsin Republican pulled the measure from the floor, calling it "fundamentally flawed".

Trump was holding unspecified meetings Saturday at a golf club in Virginia.

Trump publicly blamed Democrats - not the speaker - for Friday's failure.

Perhaps most damaging is the fact that Mr Trump - elected in part to bring his business skills to the White House - failed to negotiate a deal between the factions of his own party.

"Remember this: We had no Democrat support".

During former President Barack Obama's tenure, Ryan had always been able to lean on Democrats to pass legislation Obama would sign.

Every time Paul Ryan, Republican leader in the House of Representatives, relaxed a regulation to placate the hardline Freedom Caucus and win a vote in the House, he risked losing a vote in the Senate, where members tend to be more mainstream.

It was a sobering lesson for the president on the differences between the top-down operation of a big company and the murky legislative process often compared to sausage-making.

The episode is a danger point for the relationship between Trump and Ryan, who had an awkward pairing during the campaign but worked in tandem on the GOP health measure.

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"You've all heard me say this before: Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains".

"It's imploding and soon will explode and it's not going to be pretty".

"I will not sugarcoat this, this is a disappointing day for us", Ryan said.

"Never say never", but "it certainly looks like" health care is dead for the current Congress, Representative Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) told CNN. Instead, he suffered a brutal defeat, cancelling a vote and admitting "we're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future".

The House replacement plan would rescind taxes created by Obamacare, repeal a penalty against people who do not buy coverage, slash funding for the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, and modify tax subsidies that help individuals buy plans. Those Republicans wanted the bill to go much further, while some GOP moderates felt it went too far.

The National Review website exhorted Republicans to keep fighting. "The caucus said that the single concession - to strike down a federal requirement that insurers offer a package of "essential health benefits" - wouldn't go far enough to unraveling the mandates that are central to the architecture of the 2010 health law". I've said that a year and a half. "Back to work, ladies and gentlemen".

From across the country, in the other Washington, political leaders reacted. "The Republican Party is a party without a goal".

Rep. Dave Reichert, who voted to pass the AHCA out of the Ways and Means Committee, later announced he was undecided on the bill, according to Seattle Times reporting.

Sanders outlined a different approach to Obamacare than that of Trump.

For years, Republicans had vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and now with the presidency and both houses of Congress, they appeared to be in a position to do so.


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