Thought today’s scheduled vote on the American Health Care Act would be a step towards resolving the United States’s ongoing health care drama? Think again.
After a contentious debate on Friday afternoon, the GOP canceled the vote on their proposed healthcare legislation to replace Obamacare.
According to The Washington Post, President Trump issued an ultimatum to lawmakers yesterday urging them to pass the bill—but without success, apparently. Just as the House readied to vote at 3:30 p.m., it was announced that Congress would recess. Then, in a closed-door meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans that the vote was a no-go. The New York Times reports that the meeting only lasted five minutes and there are “no plans” for trying to pass the legislation again.
The GOP’s failure to gather votes for the bill contrasts President Trump’s self-advertised reputation as a dealmaker. It also marks the Trump administration’s first 100 days in office with yet another failure in fulfilling the president's campaign promises. As one reporter for The Hill said via Twitter:
It turns out Donald Trump is not "The Closer"
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) March 24, 2017
In a press conference following the abrupt cancellation, Ryan called the decision to pull the vote from the House a "setback." He added that, despite seven years of promising to repeal President Obama's signature bill, "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the forseeable future."
Before the vote was scheduled to occur, things weren’t looking great for the GOP bill’s supporters. Republicans could only afford to lose 22 votes on the American Health Care Act. But just before the cancellation was announced, The Hill projected that 36 House Republicans would vote no.
Pulling the vote acknowledges that the bill was doomed for defeat, and that the Republicans had not made a significant alternative for the Affordable Care Act.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats can be expected to celebrate the temporary preservation of the Affordable Care Act through today’s events. Representative Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina, told The Hill that “this is probably a good moment for [Democrats]. The champagne that wasn’t popped back in November may be utilized this evening.”
Talk about a "yuge" fail for the GOP.