WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has ordered Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to kill the hotly contested Republican bill to replace ObamaCare.
The move comes after weeks of intense disagreement by Republicans on the controversial program and one day after Republican law makers failed to gain enough support to secure a vote on whether or not to approve the program.
Trump has “left everything on the field when it comes to this bill,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today during an afternoon press briefing, adding that House Speaker Paul Ryan “has done everything he can” to push the bill through but “at the end of the day, you can’t force people to vote.”
According to ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-leaves-field-crucial-health-care-vote-looms/story?id=46346773), White House budget director Mick Mulvaney had told Republican legislators that if the House failed to act on the measure today, the president is prepared to leave the Affordable Care Act in place and let the chips fall where they may.
But despite efforts by Vice President Mike Pence and health secretary Tom Price, who rushed to Capitol Hill for an urgent meeting on the matter in an effort to appeal to House conservatives, the bill failed to gain the support needed to garner a vote.
“You can’t pretend and say this is a win for us,” Representative Mark Walker, (R-N.C.), told reporters, adding that the killing of the bill was a “good moment” for Democrats.
“Probably that champagne that wasn’t popped back in November may be utilized this evening,” he said.
If enacted, The Republican bill would have replaced the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that almost all citizens in the United States is required to have health insurance. But hard line conservatives opposed the bill in it’s current form, calling it a slap in the face to conservative values and nicknaming it “ObamaCare Lite”.
At the center of the debate is the Republicans’ stance that the verbiage of the bill may force American taxpayers to pay healthcare costs for illegal immigrants.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who lead the opposition to the bill said that there are too many similarities between the proposed legislation and the original ObamaCare program and that anything short of a complete repeal would be a betrayal to the American people.
“We own repeal. We ran on it. It is our idea. We have to pass it cleanly, now,” Paul said in an op-ed drafted with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. “Then we owe the American people a real-old fashioned period of allowing all ideas to be debated and voted on to produce the best product possible.”
Meadows, appearing of Fox News Channel’s Hannity (https://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/03/06/freedom-caucus-chair-meadows-replacement-sets-new-entitlement-keeps-some-taxes-doesnt-repeal-all-of-obamacare/), concurred, saying that Ryan’s version of the bill “sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes and doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare.”
“We’ve got to do better, and hopefully, with some amendments, we can do that,” he added.
Speaking at a press conference just a short time after news of the pulling of the bill broke, Speaker Ryan said, “The worst is yet to come with ObamaCare. We will be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future until we can find a way to get it replaced.”
“This is a setback, no two ways about it,” he added. “But we’ve got to do better and I know we can.”