Repealing the Affordable Care Act, more commonly called "Obamacare," has been one of the Republican Party's main pursuits since it was implemented in 2010. The power to do so only grew when Donald Trump claimed victory as the 45th president of the United States.
The Trump administration has even strategically appointed Republicans in key positions to make the Obamacare repeal a reality, such as the Department of Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price. However, the GOP's decision to suddenly pull out the American Health Care Act just hours before the procedural vote, as well as statements from Republican leaders, confirm that the Obamacare replacement is now dead.
Death Of The American Health Care Act
The voting for the Obamacare replacement was scheduled on March 24 but House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisconsin, was ordered by Trump not to push through with the votes after being presented data showing that the GOP replacement did not have the support it needed to be passed.
"I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us [...] We did not have quite the votes to replace this law," Ryan said.
The Blame Game
Ryan expressed his disappointment with the result of the GOP's hard work, but Trump said he does not blame Ryan for failing to rally the necessary votes. The president, however, seems to be pointing the blame toward Democrat leaders who all voted "No."
"When you get zero from the other side - they let us down because they're hurting the people," Trump said in an interview.
There were also some Republican leaders who chose to vote "No" for various reasons and, while some Republican leaders wanted to focus on the issues within the replacement bill, others focused on how to best protect the president.
"A no vote means we save Donald Trump from a Democratic majority in 2019," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said.
Trump, however, is taking the failure as a lesson in being a president.
"We learned a lot about loyalty, and we learned a lot about the vote-getting process," he said.
Is The Fight Truly Over?
Ryan has been lobbying for the replacement bill in the House so his disappointment is reasonable. Instead of trying to push for the dead health care act again, both Ryan and Trump plan to wait it out since they are convinced Obamacare will self-destruct. They will just wait for it to happen before pushing for the replacement.
"I've been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode [...] And [Democrats] will come to us, we won't have to come to them," Trump said in an interview.
As for the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton shared her reaction to the news on Twitter. Read it below.
Today was a victory for all Americans. pic.twitter.com/LX6lzQXtBR
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 24, 2017