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30 March 2017, 01:47 | Amanda Barker
Trump 'a little surprised' by health care defeat
After the bill did not garner enough support from lawmakers, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) pulled the AHCA bill, resulting in boos from Democrats on the House floor who wanted to put the bill to a vote.
While Democratic leaders celebrated Friday afternoon, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying it was "a great day for our country" and a "victory for the American people", and Republicans acknowledged a stinging defeat, with Ryan calling it a "disappointing day for us", Trump tried to frame the Democrats as the "losers" in the long-running health care debate. "We could have had it".
The businessman-turned-president who spent decades touting his skills as a negotiator said making legislation was an "interesting experience" and blamed Democrats for not coming together.
"I want great health care for the people of this nation", Trump said when asked if it was fair to let Obamacare fail. "So, they're going to reach out when they're ready, and whenever they're ready, we're ready".
But far-right lawmakers of the so-called Freedom Caucus mostly stood their ground, and every Democrat shunned the Republicans' legislation, forcing the last-minute cancellation of a vote.
"D-O-N-E done. This bill is dead", said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It represented the culmination of seven years of unsuccessful GOP attempts to craft a replacement bill the party could rally behind - a unity that ended up eluding them.
In a stunning defeat for Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday canceled a vote on the GOP bill to replace Obamacare because he did not have enough votes from his own members to pass the legislation. "This time we knew if it got to the president's desk it would be signed".
"We all learned a lot, we learned a lot about loyalty, we learned about the vote getting process, we learned about a lot of arcane rules in the House and the Senate", Trump said.
"At some point, we either have a deal or we don't".
"Obamacare is the law of the land", Ryan said. Do you think this is wrong?
The tweet reflected the comments he made on Friday after the Republican plan was withdrawn once it became clear that it lacked the necessary support among his own party to be passed by the House.
The House and Senate had hoped to deliver a new healthcare bill to Trump by April 8, when Congress is scheduled to begin a two-week spring break. However, the number of renegade Republicans was believed to be anywhere between 24 and 36, according to mainstream media outlets.
House leaders agreed to four pages of last-minute amendments, including allowing states to choose which "essential benefits" are required in insurance plans, keeping a 0.9 percent surcharge on Medicare for high-income Americans for six years, and giving states more money for maternal health and mental health.
The Democrats also said the party is willing to work with Republicans to make needed, bipartisan changes to the ACA. "You can't force someone to vote a certain way".
He added that Republican leaders had struck a balance between conservative requests and moderates who were anxious that cuts were too draconian for their constituents.
But it will take more than platitudes to unite his party, especially after both conservative and moderate factions demonstrated their strength this week.
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