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House Republicans Pull Health Care Bill

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President Donald Trump and the GOP were dealt a devastating blow in their efforts to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act when Republicans pulled their health care bill from the House floor just minutes before a scheduled vote on Friday.

France 24 / Drew Angerer

France 24 / Drew Angerer

“This is a disappointing day for us,” Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters shortly after the bill was shot down. “Doing big things is hard. And for us, myself, included, will need time to reflect how we got to this moment, what we would have done to do it better.”

This development comes only one day after Trump threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn’t get a vote.

“We were very close,” Trump said in the Oval Office after the bill was yanked. “It was a very, very tight margin.”

Trump said he was “disappointed” and “a little surprised” in regards to the outcome. He also thanked Republicans in the House, particularly Paul Ryan, saying, “I think Paul worked really hard” to get the bill passed.

Instead of blaming his own party, which holds a significant majority in the House, Trump scolded Democrats, who all opposed the measure.

“We had no Democratic support,” he said. “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It’s exploding now.”

Trump reiterated his stance with the following Saturday morning tweet.

Needless to say, Democrats were happy with the outcome.

“In my life, I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House today,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Today we’ve learned they can’t count votes and they can’t close a deal. So much for the art of the deal.”

Despite his finger pointing at the other side, Trump still acknowledged the rift in his own party.

The Freedom Caucus, for example, held out in the end because they felt the bill didn’t go far enough to repeal The Affordable Care Act. The group’s chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, still wants to repeal Obamacare.

“I promised the people of North Carolina’s 11th District that I would fight for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement with a market-driven approach that brings down costs and provides more choices for the American people,” Meadows said in a statement.

As for the specifics of the GOP’s health care bill, it would’ve eliminated the individual mandate imposed by Obama. It also would’ve provided Americans with refundable tax credits based on age to purchase health insurance, where Obamacare used subsidies tied income and premiums.

Perhaps the most unappealing aspect was the weakening of federal support for Medicaid. By 2020, states that expanded the federal program would’ve lost government funding to cover lower income recipients, which Obamacare did.

However, Republicans didn’t touch one of the more favorable parts of Obamacare—including protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and allowing parents to keep their children under their plan until the age of 26.

But, nevertheless, Obamacare is still “the law of the land” according to Ryan. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

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