After weeks of drafting, hiding, debating, and tweaking a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans scrapped it just minutes before a scheduled vote on Tuesday. ACA repeal, which the Republican Party has been promising voters since Barack Obama signed the bill into law seven years ago, is suddenly in doubt.
The Republican-backed American Health Care Act (dubbed "Trumpcare" by some) faced resistance from legislators on both sides of the aisle—Democrats objected to a bill that would cause millions of people to lose health insurance, and some conservative Republicans were upset it didn't strip enough provisions of the ACA. Despite President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan's best efforts to ram the AHCA through Congress, it was clear by Friday afternoon that they couldn't get enough Republicans onboard. Ryan reportedly went to the White House to tell Trump the votes weren't there, and hours later, the speaker officially announced the bill would be pulled.
The loss is a big-league embarrassment for Trump, who threw his full support and a handful of tweets behind his first major legislative effort. He told Republicans that he wanted to move on from healthcare if they couldn't manage to pass the AHCA today. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, were willing to admit that this was a failure.
"You can't pretend and say this is a win for us," Republican representative Mark Walker said, according to the New York Times.
"Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains. We're feeling those growing pains today," added Ryan. "This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard," he added. "All of us, all of us—myself included—will need to time to reflect on how we got to this moment."
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