Trump on Health Care Bill Failure: 'We Were Very Close'
- Author: Archie Newman Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 1:47
From across the country, in the other Washington, political leaders reacted.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus that helped kill the bill, said Republicans should not give up on getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. "So, they're going to reach out when they're ready, and whenever they're ready, we're ready". "And that was sufficient to provide the balance to not have this bill pass". It was an epic, damaging, self-inflicted collapse that smothered the GOP effort. In the face of that evidence, and despite insistences from White House officials and House Speaker Paul Ryan that Friday was the day to vote, leadership pulled back from the brink.
"There was a block of no votes that was the reason this did not pass", Ryan said.
Republicans had for years insisted Obamacare repeal was a paramount priority.
President Donald Trump made his first comments about the failure of the bill from the Oval Office soon after the vote was cancelled.
Trump told reporters "we were very close" and tried to blame Democrats, though Republicans control both the House and the Senate. "Do not worry!" the president tweeted.
The bill's failure brings an end to yet another awful week for Mr Trump. "We're back to the drawing board".
In a press conference after the AHCA bill was pulled from the House floor, the Democratic Party had a unified message: The decision to pull the bill was a victory for the American people.
It also underscored just how divided the Republican Party is, with factions of hardline conservatives and moderates rebelling against their own leadership.
Republicans had never built a constituency for the legislation, and in the end the almost uniform opposition from hospitals, doctors, nurses, the AARP, consumer groups and others weighed heavily with many members.
One problem facing the GOP is repercussions from the party's voters. "I think it would have been fairly combative, sort of internecine warfare, so it was better not to do that". He lacked the steel and seasoning of Democratic rival Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who delivered Obamacare in the first place - and that took months, not weeks.
Obama's statute has spread coverage to 20 million people and required insurers to cover numerous services and barred them from refusing policies to the very sick.
Representative Mark Pocan, a Madison Democrat, said Congress should focus on improving the Affordable Care Act.
"We had no Democrat support", Trump said.
But top congressional Republicans mostly conceded the measure's demise meant it was time to move onto other issues. In a statement, he expressed only gloom about the effort's future.
"I think what will happen is Obamacare unfortunately will explode". "I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us".
Sean Spicer said 120 Congressmen and women had met Mr Trump to discuss the bill.
On the economic side, it involves refashioning how providers, patients and federal programs should interact.
"We'll have 218 (votes) when this thing comes to the floor, I can guarantee you that", he said, referring to the House majority usually needed to pass legislation.
"I like Speaker Ryan".
The House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill to replace Obamacare late on Friday afternoon. "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".
He added, "Republicans never ever agree on health care".