As the days and hours got closer and closer to the United States House of Representatives voting on President Donald Trump’s health care bill, the American Health Care Act, nicknamed Trumpcare, it looked likely that the bill would fail.
But with minutes to go until a scheduled vote on Friday, March 24, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the bill from consideration after speaking with Trump.
This might be seen as a way to prevent embarrassment if the bill ended up failing in the House. Some Republicans were already on the record as saying they planned to defect from their own party and vote no. Regardless of the way it went down, this outcome is still a major defeat for the President and Republicans in Congress.
Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Making this one of his first priorities was a risky one, especially considering that only 17% of voters approve of the AHCA bill, with 56% disapproving, according to a Quinnipiac poll.
So to have his first major piece of legislation be pulled before a vote could even be taken might damage his chances for negotiations in the future, especially since he said on Thursday that he was done negotiating on the AHCA and wanted the House to vote, even though everyone knew the votes might not be there.
During a press conference shortly after the decision, Ryan acknowledged his disappointment and said that the ACA is “going to remain the law of the land,” which goes against campaign promises by not just the President but also Republican lawmakers around the country.
Then Trump spoke to the press from the Oval Office. Instead of taking responsibility for the failure, he for some reason blamed Democrats in Congress for refusing to vote for the bill, saying, “When you get zero from the other side, they let us down because they’re hurting the people. The good news is they now own health care; they now own Obamacare.”
Trump’s usual tactic is to blame others for his own failures. So while his comments aren’t surprising, it also doesn’t make any sense. Republicans have a majority in both the House and Senate. If the party was united, they would have been able to pass the AHCA.
Reports indicate that Trump is ready to move on from this ordeal. He mentioned that tax reform is likely to be next.