Tax, Medicaid Tweaks Not Enough As GOP Postpones Vote On Obamacare Replacement
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 21: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) walks into a news conference after a House Republican closed party conference attended by U.S. President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill, on March 21, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Not today. That was the word out of Washington, D.C. today when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was forced to delay a planned vote on the GOP’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. A vote on the American Healthcare Act (already dubbed "Trumpcare") had been slated for today but was pulled when it was clear that the would fall short of the 218 votes needed to pass.
The original proposal was unveiled by Ryan earlier this month (you can read about the initial proposal here). The proposal drew immediate criticism from both sides of the aisle: Democrats were concerned about the numbers of insured persons who might drop off the health care rolls while conservative Republicans felt that the bill didn’t do enough to distinguish it from Obamacare. Moderate Republicans were concerned about potential pushback from voters who might lose coverage or face increased costs.
In a last ditch effort to win support, Ryan made a number of tweaks to the proposal including accelerating repeal of certain Obamacare taxes and revamps to Medicaid (you can read about some of them here).
President Trump, who had campaigned on a promise to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare, had lobbied hard for the GOP proposal. Days ago, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) said the President had sent Republicans in the House a message, "If you don’t pass the bill there could be political costs." And just hours before the scheduled vote, Trump tweeted out:
Donald Trump tweet.
Despite Trump’s support and efforts to swing votes, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said there was "No deal."
The fact that the bill didn’t go to a vote on today, of all days, didn’t go unnoticed by some on the Hill. Today marks the seven-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law.
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