Speaker Ryan can’t deliver a replacement bill to Obamacare
In a stunning blow to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) his American Health Care Act the repeal and replacement bill had to be pulled because the measure did not have the 216 votes needed to pass the bill.
The legislation that was headed toward the vote seemed doomed to failure. According to a number of Whip counters there were 36 Republicans who were set to vote no, with many more possibly voting against the measure.
The GOP could only afford 22 defections, the decision to pull the vote came after Ryan met with President Donald Trump at the White House at around 2 p.m. today.
The Republicans who campaigned for seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare chose to take a pass on the GOP replacement bill. They would not vote on a bill was crafted by Speaker Ryan.
The conservative Freedom Caucus showed their power as they were the key in keeping the AHCA from passing. They were unwilling to back the bill and while they showed they have the power to halt legislation they took no pleasure in the outcome.
“You can’t pretend and say this is a win for us,” said Representative Mark Walker, Republican of North Carolina, who conceded it was a “good moment” for Democrats.
The Republican bill would have replaced the Affordable Care Act, known informally as Obamacare, which mandated that almost everyone have health insurance, with a system of age-based tax credits to purchase health insurance plans.
In the end it not only did the bill not appeal to conservatives it also did not have the backing of more moderate Republicans who were anxiously aware of the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that the bill would leave 24 million more Americans without insurance.
President Trump is moving on to deal with other issues while the House and the Senate will tackle healthcare later down the line. In a way today’s non vote gives Trump a better chance to get a bill that he wants and comes closer to meeting his campaign promises on healthcare.