Just before the scheduled vote to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care bill, House Republican leaders pulled what they thought would succeed the Affordable Care Act. The withdrawal of the American Health Care Act was proceeded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, by the request of President Donald Trump.
Trump’s decision to abandon the house’s new insurance system may have been triggered when it became nearly impossible for the vote to be passed.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of Office Management told the press the day before the vote that if it did not pass, Trump would move on and leave “Obamacare” in place.
Trump blamed the failure of the health bill on a lack of support from the Democratic party, and that the house was just 10 to 15 votes short of a new healthcare system. Ryan blamed the withdrawal on “growing pains” in the new administration.
Ryan referred to the proposed bill as a “fundamentally flawed” replacement.
“‘Obamacare’ is the law of the land. It will remain the law of the land until it is replaced. We will be living with ‘Obamacare’ for the foreseeable future,” Ryan said in a press conference following the withdrawal.
Ryan was not shy to share his disappointment following the failed attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, and he said that the Republicans would not try to take over the current health care system anytime soon.
Just 216 votes of the 237 Republicans in the House of Representatives were needed to pass the proposed health law, but the amount of support fell shy of the president’s expectations.
Replacing “Obamacare” with a “new and improved” healthcare law was Trump’s large focus during his presidential campaign. After an unlucky attempt, he says he is “open” to working bipartisan on a new replacement for the ACA.
The Affordable Care Act has been in place for seven years since former President Barack Obama signed it in 2010. The goal of “Obamacare” is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality, health insurance and to reduce the growth in US healthcare spending.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Republican bill would have resulted in an additional 24 million uninsured Americans in a decade. Republican tax credits would be based on age, not income like “Obamacare.” The bill would cut Medicaid, which provides benefits for low-income citizens, along several other insurance providers.
Anchorage Assembly Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson was gracious to hear the news that President Trump pulled the GOP health care bill.
“[‘Obamacare’] is helping a whole lot of people, not only in our community but across the nation. Withdrawing was the right thing for the Republicans to do,” Gray-Jackson said.
Gray-Jackson admitted that the Affordable Care Act helps not only her and her family but many of those in her community.
“Around 23,000 Alaskans would have been affected and would not have health insurance if ‘Obamacare’ would have went away. The fact that it is still here means that the folks in our community are going to continue to have healthcare without any interruptions,” Gray-Jackson said.
The healthcare setback could require Republicans and Democrats to work together in creating a solution and an improved legislature. With conservatives lawmakers in the majority, they will have to work with the president on creating a better and more sustainable health care act.