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By Cokeitha Gaddist
On Friday March 24, Republican House Speaker, Paul Ryan canceled a vote on the Health Care Bill to replace Obamacare because he did not have enough votes from his own Republican party members to pass the legislation. He pulled the bill after failing to secure enough votes it would need to pass in the House. “Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan said in a press conference on Friday. “It’s going to remain the law of the land.”
Ryan had originally planned a vote for Thursday but put it off to provide more time to negotiate with the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group, a moderate group of House Republicans who feared the bill would make health care too costly for their low-income and older citizens. These two groups could not in good faith pass a bill that would kick 14 to 24 million people off health care and even more people off Medicaid and Medicare. In a last-minute effort on Friday, Republican leaders attempted to wrangle the needed votes to pass the bill after delaying the vote on Thursday. Republicans needed 215 votes in the House to pass the bill. They have 237 out of the 435 House seats, meaning they could afford only 22 party defections. Before the bill was pulled, 33 Republicans were opposed.
The vote had been expected on Friday at 3:30 p.m. but after negotiations stonewalled, Ryan went to the White House early Friday afternoon to inform President Trump that he did not have enough votes to pass the bill. Ryan then canceled the vote shortly after returning to the Capitol. “We came really close today, but we came up short,” Ryan said at a news conference after he pulled the bill from the House floor. “This is a disappointing day for us.”
Failure to pass the Health care bill is good news for the millions of people who were projected to lose their insurance if the bill were to become law. “Today is a great day for our country,” said , Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “What happened on the House floor is a victory for the American people” she says.
This failure is a huge setback for the Trump’s Administration since he repeatedly vowed to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement “Obamacare”. Achieving this goal was a major campaign promise made by Trump and House Republican supporters for the 2016 presidential campaign in last year’s election. Unfortunately, they could not agree on the best way to achieve this goal to keep that promise. “I’m disappointed, because we could have had it,” said Trump. “I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you.” Trump said in a press conference. He explained that he did not blame conservatives in his own party who would not vote for the bill. He blamed Democrats, saying that passing the bill without them was a “very difficult thing to do.” He said Democrats now “own” Obamacare and must take responsibility for its problems. “They own it; 100% own it,” Trump said.