In what appears to be a major setback for the Republican-led administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act bill that would have repealed and replaced the current Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
One of the Republican Party’s major promises during the 2016 political campaign was the eventual repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act passed by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2010.
The new legislation would have ended the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and allowed states to implement work requirements for certain recipients. The bill also ended the requirement to buy insurance, along with the fine for not having it. Another part would have ended federal payments to Planned Parenthood and would have considered maternity as non-required coverage.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office stated that an extra 24 million people would become uninsured under the AHCA by 2026.
Many republicans in Congress had been doubtful of the proposed AHCA. Some of the more moderate republicans and hard-line conservatives argued over several parts of the bill, such as ending Medicaid expansion.
Ultimately, the Republican-led House of Representatives came short of approving the AHCA. Ryan said he was asked by President Trump to pull the bill after an earlier meeting where Ryan confirmed that many Republicans were still not on board.
“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains,” Ryan said during a news conference Friday afternoon. “We’re feeling those growing pains today. We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
President Trump later issued a pool statement from the White House telling that he predicts that Obamacare will “explode.”
“I’d love to see Obamacare do well but it can’t,” Trump said.
It’s unclear what will become of the AHCA, but the Trump administration stated it will shift its focus towards tax reform in the meantime.