White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that there would be no “plan B,” in regards to healthcare, but it appears that the GOP are going to need to find one after pulling the vote for the American Health Care Act.
Late Friday afternoon, after much postponement and hurried meetings behind closed doors, House Leadership announced that they would be pulling the American Health Care Act in order to avoid a vote that would no doubt kill the bill on the floor.
President Trump broke the news shortly after the vote was set to be held at 3:30 ET, telling Washington Post’s Robert Costa that “we” pulled the healthcare bill. According to CNN and MSNBC, Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly pleaded with the POTUS to allow him to pull the bill.
When the AHCA was initially announced, it was universally panned. Democrats said it went too far, while most Republicans said it didn’t go far enough. Then, the Congressional Budget Office delivered their estimate on the cost of the AHCA, revealing that the plan would leave 24 million people without healthcare and would raise premiums by 20 percent.
Republicans pushed for a hurried vote on their replacement bill, set to vote on the seventh anniversary of the ACA. The night before, Republican leadership scrambled to gut the bill further in order to appease far-right conservatives in the Freedom Caucus who were hard “no’s.” Republicans were willing to remove mandatory coverage for vital aspects of healthcare like pharmaceuticals, prenatal care, and hospitalization, but even gutting everything they could, the plan would not pass.
The first vote was postponed, but President Trump made it clear: vote or else. The vote was rescheduled to Friday at 3:30 ET, but as Republicans continued to try and whip up more support, more Republicans changed their votes to “no,” rather than backing their party’s bill.
Rather than face a certain loss on the House floor, Republican leadership elected to pull the bill. It is anyone’s guess how the American public will view this massive failure for the Republican party and President Donald Trump.
In the same conversation that Trump broke the news about the pulled vote, the president also said that he doesn’t blame Speaker Ryan, though that may be enough to save the Speaker’s reputation.