After seven years and one day since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and four election cycles intensely focused on repealing “Obamacare,” the American Health Care Act has been pulled at the request of President Donald Trump.
AHCA was hotly debated on the House floor today for five-plus hours before reporting from The Washington Post’s Robert Costa confirmed that President Trump had asked for the bill to be pulled. The bill faced obvious scrutiny from House Democrats for decimating ACA, while conservative House Republicans feared that AHCA didn’t go far enough in stripping away “offending” portions of Obamacare, such as federal requirements for insurance companies to include mental health treatment in plans.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), in a press conference, said that, “Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains and we’re feeling those pains today.”
Such pains, just 64 days into President Donald Trump’s administration, could hamstring House Republicans from getting rid of ACA in 2017. Representative Andy Barr (R-Ky.) seemed to go even further in a chat with CNN’s Manu Raju by tacitly agreeing that ACA repeal might well be dead for the entirety of the 115th Congress.
In that aforementioned conference, Speaker Ryan aptly summarized the entirety of Friday, simply saying: “I will not sugarcoat this, it’s a disappointing day for us … We came really close.”