Due to a lack of votes in support, House Republicans have pulled the healthcare bill. The withdrawal represents a major defeat for President Trump, who made repealing the Affordable Care Act one of his benchmark campaign promises.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, at Trump’s request, withdrew the measure from the floor, before further debate could proceed Friday afternoon. It ran into trouble on Thursday when the number of votes needed in the Republican-controlled House did not materialize in favor of it. Democrats had staunchly opposed the bill since Trump had began to push it toward legislation.
“We just pulled it,” Trump told The Washington Post shortly after the bill was halted.
What the stoppage means is that the Affordable Care Act stays put, at least for now. It also means the 20 million people in America who had obtained healthcare through former President Barack Obama’s signature policy victory will keep their health insurance.
But it also means a major political defeat for the Trump White House and possibly uncertainty on other items the president wanted to advance like spending on the national infrastructure, immigration reform and a tax overhaul.
Although Republicans had been vocal about wanting to repeal what they had come to call “Obamacare,” there were many who demanded that whatever replaced the policy had to be better than what the previous administration had offered. As the House vote approached, several voiced their displeasure with the House bill.
Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said the bill “would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents,” according to the Associated Press. Others like Washington state Rep. Herrera Beutler were more specific about its shortcomings. “I’m disappointed that it appears my amendment to strengthen the Medicaid safety net for the kids who depend on it for their health care will not be considered.”
Democrats, were of course jubilant over the failure of the GOP healthcare measure. Several took to social media to express their glee over what they feel is a win for those who obtained healthcare through the ACA.
Make no mistake: the failure of #TrumpCare is a victory for the resistance. The Affordable Care Act will continue to save lives.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) March 24, 2017
— Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) March 24, 2017
BREAKING: Trump & House Republicans cave in and cancel vote. They LOSE. America WINS. Mission Accomplished #KillTheBill
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) March 24, 2017
VICTORY as Republicans have failed to overturn Obamacare pic.twitter.com/1ZceKsPyJz
— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) March 24, 2017
It is unclear what the next move for Republicans will be on healthcare or even if they will attempt a new bill. At least one said the issue is closed for the rest of the current congressional session. “We’re done with health care this year,” said Republican Texas Rep. Bill Flores.