Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan decided on Friday along with U.S. President Donald Trump to not advance the Republican replacement healthcare plan after realizing that the House of Representatives lacked the 216 votes needed to approve the new healthcare bill that was aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“We came really close today but we came up short” admitted Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday during a press conference.
“Obamacare is the law of the land. It’s going to remain the law of the land until its replaced. We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future” Speaker Ryan said.
The defeat was a setback for President Trump who spoke vigorously against Obamacare during his 2016 presidential campaign and placed it on the top of his priority list to accomplish within the first 100 days in the White House.
Facing protests after his election win and legal blockages to his executive order about imposing a travel ban on six mostly Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, President Trump placed emphasis on replacing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
Blame The Democrats
President Trump shifted the blame away from his inability to unite House Republicans and told reporters at the Oval Office on Friday that the real losers are Democratic leaders.
“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare” Trump said.
“They have Obamacare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist which it will at some point in the near future” President Trump added.
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer replied on CNN’s Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer that President Trump never reached out to Democrats to talk and to get them involved.
“The failure is of course is completely among the Republicans, President Trump, and the Congress. They weren’t even trying to get Democrats involved.” Schumer said.
“And now it’s about time for the President to lead, not to name call, not to blame. But to lead. To simply say people are going to suffer and someone is to blame, that makes no sense at all. If you are a real President, you care about people’s suffering” Senator Schumer added.
He suggested that President Trump should take the “repeal” of Obamacare off the table and work with Democrats to improve Obamacare.
Growing Pains For A Republican Party That Has The Responsibility To Govern
Passing new healthcare legislation that both satisfies conservatives in the Freedom Caucus Group and moderates in the Republican Party proved to be a bigger challenge for the Trump administration than first anticipated.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated during his press briefings earlier in the week that President Trump was optimistic that the healthcare legislation would be approved in the House before Friday.
House Speaker Ryan that the defeat of the repeal and replacement healthcare bill was a “setback” and “doing big things is hard” which comes as House Republicans try to pivot and become a majority party that governs the country instead of just opposing Democratic objectives.
“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains and well, we’re feeling those growing pains today” Speaker Ryan said.
Speaker Ryan offered a grim forecast about the future of Obamacare and said, “I don’t think the law as it is fashioned is going to be able to survive.”
Ryan predicted, “the worst is yet to come with Obamacare” and referred to the current health care model as “fundamentally flawed.”
“What we are really are worried about and you’ve heard me say this all along is the coming premium increases that are coming with a death spiral health care system. That is my big concern today” Speaker Ryan said.
President Trump and House Republicans are left now trying to work on the rest of their domestic agenda related to border security, rebuilding the military, tackling the deficit, infrastructure rebuilding, and tax reform.
“Now we are going to move on with the rest of our agenda because we have big ambitious plans to improve people’s lives in this country” Speaker Ryan said.
Speaker Ryan admitted that the defeat of the American Health Care Act makes tax reform more difficult in the future but they will still proceed with tax reform and noted there is more agreement on the need and nature of tax reform, on funding the government, on rebuilding the military, and on securing border.
Here is my latest You Tube video where I provide some additional commentary about the defeat of the American Health Care Act and react to some of the challenges that President Trump is currently facing.