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GOP Disaster: Ryan And Trump Pull Health Care Bill Before Vote (Again)

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GOP Disaster: Ryan And Trump Pull Health Care Bill Before Vote (Again)



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.

Republican leaders of the House of Representatives pulled the legislation due to a shortage of votes despite desperate lobbying by the White House and its allies in Congress.

They had planned a vote on the measure after Trump cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose.

Republican moderates as well as the most conservative lawmakers had objected to the legislation. The White House and House leaders were unable to come up with a plan that satisfied both moderates and conservatives.

Trump told the Washington Post: “We just pulled it.”

Amid a chaotic scramble for votes, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who has championed the bill, met with Trump at the White House before the bill was pulled from the House floor after hours of debate. Ryan said he recommended that the legislation be withdrawn from the House floor because he did not have the votes to pass it, and that Trump agreed.

Friday’s events cast doubt on whether Ryan can get major legislation approved by fractious Republican lawmakers.

“I will not sugarcoat this. This is a disappointing day for us,” Ryan said at a news conference, adding that his fellow Republicans are experiencing what he called “growing pains” transitioning from an opposition party to a governing party.

“Doing big things is hard,” Ryan added, noting that he got close but failed to muster the 216 votes needed to pass it.

Ryan said he did not know what the next steps would be on healthcare, but called Obamacare so flawed that it would be hard to prop up.

Trump told the Washington Post the healthcare bill would not be coming up again in the near future and that he wanted to see if Democrats who uniformly objected to the Republican plan would come to him to work on healthcare legislation, a Washington Post reporter said on MSNBC.

Without the bill’s passage in Congress, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – would remain in place despite seven years of Republican promises to dismantle it.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare was a top campaign promise by Trump in the 2016 presidential election, as well as by most Republican candidates, “from dog-catcher on up,” as White House spokesman Sean Spicer put it during a briefing on Friday.

The House failure to pass the measure called into question Trump’s ability to get other key parts of his agenda, including tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending, through a Congress controlled by his own party.

News that the bill had been pulled before a final vote was greeted initially with a small sigh of relief by U.S. equity investors, who earlier in the week had been fretful that an outright defeat would damage Trump’s other priorities, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Benchmark U.S. stock market indexes ended the session mixed after rallying back from session lows following the news. The S&P 500 Index ended fractionally lower, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped about 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose about 0.2 percent. The dollar also strengthened modestly on the news and U.S. Treasury bond yields edged up from session lows. “There’s nobody that objectively can look at this effort and say the president didn’t do every single thing he possibly could with this team to get every vote possible,” Spicer told reporters before the legislation was pulled.

Trump already has been stymied by federal courts that blocked his executive actions barring entry into the United States of people from several Muslim-majority nations. Some Republicans worry a defeat on the healthcare legislation could cripple his presidency just two months after the wealthy New York real estate mogul took office.

In a blow to the bill’s prospects, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen announced his opposition, expressing concern about reductions in coverage under the Medicaid insurance program for the poor and the retraction of “essential” health benefits that insurers must cover.

“We need to get this right for all Americans,” Frelinghuysen said.

IMAGE: President Trump reacts to the AHCA health care bill being pulled by Congressional Republicans before a vote as he appears with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price in the Oval Office, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 24, 2017

    Maybe Trump should have called in the InformedVoter, “mike”, and thousands of others to gather outside the WH wearing there magical red caps with “Make America Great Again”.

    Why, oh why, didn’t I think of that earlier this week while conversing with those wonderful and erudite gentlemen, wise in the ways of “destroying lefties”, the deploying of misdirection techniques, and proficiency in obfuscation tactics.

    Certainly a commando unit led by the redoubtable InformedVoter and his lieutenant “mike”, both wearing their spiffy brown uniforms and their magical red caps, would have been able to persuade those ingrate rebellious GOP Congressmen to support Herr Paul Ryan, the supreme commander and proxy for Putin, one Donald John Trump, and the other petulant Congressman, who were hell-bent over a 7 year span on eradicating a health plan which provided more health coverage for so many, while having not the foggiest idea as to what to replace it with.

    The demise of TRUMP/RYAN CARE is nothing short of poetic justice, and now a bevy of curmudgeons who are good at whining, complaining and throwing rocks from afar, now stand in their own puddles in the Capitol Building, not being able to control their own bladders.

    Case Closed!!

    Sorry Trump—your negotiating skills are best used in settings where you can operate in secret, use lots of hot air, and through your weight around like the bully you’ve always enjoyed being.

    1. TZToronto March 24, 2017

      It’s almost funny that Trump is blaming Democrats for the abject failure of ACHA. It would appear that he’s been watching Fox News for the past seven years and was never aware of the complete obstruction of President Obama’s agenda by the GOP. I guess he just assumes that the GOP was doing its best to promote whatever the Democrats wanted, and that’s the reason he can’t understand why Democrats didn’t support Ryan’s 20-years-in-the-making health care plan. Does he even realize that the two parties have diametrically opposed perspectives? Does he have any idea that the GOP is not a unified party?

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 24, 2017

        It’s gratifying to see this sort of divisiveness getting more out of control in a Party that relishes dividing the country.

        Truly a godsend that the GOP is imploding. The excitement is palpable.
        Reminds me of Gene Wilder in “Willie Wonka…”, nonchalantly and slightly annoyed, warning Augusto(sp?) not to drink from the chocolate river—“No, Stop, Don’t do that”.

      2. Dominick Vila March 25, 2017

        Clearly not. I doubt he is surprised by our robust stand on this issue. What he really did not expect was 80 or 29 fellow Republicans opposing Trumpcare or Ryancare. Some of that opposition came from the Freedom Caucus, which considered the draconian cuts in the Bill too modest and preferred the total elimination and absence of government provided assistance to those those who could ill afford healthcare insurance premiums. The other faction involved moderate Republicans well aware that while it may be easy to convince those who have nothing that doing something to mitigate their plight is evil, it is not so easy to take away a program that people know is helping them and replace it with nothing, other than another windfall to the rich. Democrat opposition was solid, and so was public opposition, but what persuaded Trump and Ryan to pull their beloved Machiavellian Bill was the fact that they did not have the 216 votes they needed to pass muster in the House. I would not be surprised if the name of every Republican who stood up against the Trumpeter, especially the moderates, is in a little black book awaiting action next year. It would not surprise me if most of them support whatever the GOP leadership comes up with on tax reform to kiss and make up.

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    2. dbtheonly March 24, 2017

      The trolls getting to you?

      I suspect it’s quite simple, the Party of No, now has to come up with a yes.

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  2. Lynda Groom March 24, 2017

    Gee maybe the republicans and their new leader have finally realized that American health care insurance is complicated. Who knew?

  3. secondclassguy March 25, 2017

    Trump sounded so sure the ACA was going to explode. Sounds like a vengeful threat to me, and he has Dr Death in the HHS to help him carry it out. He’ll look to get even with everyone, even the sick who depend on the ACA. Democrats need to get out in front of this quick, because the plan hasn’t changed, sabotage the ACA and blame it on Obama and democrats. Tom Price is the point man here, he hates the idea of helping the poor with healthcare needs. I am hoping for many class action suits against the HHS he heads for any violations of ACA laws that have adverse effects on the well being of the sick

    1. Dapper Dan March 25, 2017

      The only way the ACA can fail is if Trump and his minions neglect to support the benefit. Imagine the uproar if he did the same with Medicare and Social Security. As President he has a responsibility to maintain these programs and ensure their continued success. Unfortunately we don’t have a normal President and can now only hope his involvement with the Russians will get him out of office real soon

    2. dpaano March 29, 2017

      I think we should take away Tom Price’s healthcare insurance that we, the taxpayers, pay for and let him fend for himself in the private marketplace! Maybe then he’ll see the problem. Of course, he has enough money to cover anything that comes up with him unlike many of the rest of us!

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  5. FF March 25, 2017

    Obamacare has problems that could be fixed with bipartisan effort. Although, I’m not overly optimistic that will happen. But for now, is it wrong that I’m enjoying the negotiator-in-chief couldn’t pull this off despite his campaign promises that he’ll repeal and replace Obamacare “immediately”??

    DJT can criticize Obama all he wants, but at least President O was able to pass his healthcare bill on the first try without one Republican vote!

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 25, 2017

      It isn’t wrong that you, I, or any other reasonable and sensible person gets great joy seeing Trump and the GOP get what they deserve. The knockout punch the GOP gave itself is probably unique in humankind’s history—and when you take into account the hostile and arrogant rhetoric Trump and the GOP so often enjoy to use, this is immensely gratifying.

    2. dpaano March 29, 2017

      Oh, but they insist that the Democrats “rushed it through!” This is an outright pile of BS. They started working on this (which was the basic Massachusetts Republican plan) with two Republicans and two Democrats on the committee. After they came up with a reasonable plan, they took it through several other committees for ideas. It didn’t go for a vote until everyone was satisfied that it was going to work. They may not have all read the entire bill (much like Pelosi said), but it did not get “rushed through” by any means!

  6. 1Zoe55 March 25, 2017

    Trump says “it’s all on the Democrats now!” Indeed it is, it was and it will always be the Democrats who work for issues of health care. Why didn’t Trump and Ryan try to negotiate with the Democrats in Congress? You see, Herr tRUMP, you do need the other side in a give-and-take negotiation. What you did not need (and it’s wonderful for America) was the warring factions in the Republican/TeaParty that refused to co-operate, thereby ensuring the failure of a cruel and hasty bill to repeal Obamacare. Do not resort to your infantile tactics of blaming the Democrats, because this debacle is on your watch…and thank God.

    1. Dapper Dan March 25, 2017

      Thankfully most Americans will know it’s Trump and the GOP that were simply wanting to repeal Obamacare. Their replacement was just a smokescreen so he could say he fulfilled his campaign pledge to have a terrific replacement. Unfortunately 45 has a much different interpretation of what terrific means to others

      1. Eleanore Whitaker March 25, 2017

        I do believe at least 10 times Trump claimed Americans would have lower cost prescription drugs. I also believe he told his followers their healthcare insurance would cost less.

        The reality is that Big Insurance is nothing more than extortion. They are the ones who make the decisions on who they will and won’t enroll. So, they enroll 20 somethings who will pay premiums for 20 years without filing a single claim. Pure profit. Then, when these age groups already enrolled turn 45, Big Insurance pulls another huge for profit fast one by doubling the cost of premiums, deductibles and copays on the over 45 age group. Why double? So half of the premium remains pure profit while the other half pays the claims the over 45 file. The older you get, your premiums triple and quadruple until Big Insurance considers you too much of a “risk.”

        Is that what insurance is supposed to be about? Extorting money from people who don’t need insurance but are barraged by Big Insurance fearmongering games that end up handing HMO CEOs billions in profit?

        1. dpaano March 29, 2017

          If all the insurance companies that I pay into; i.e., life, health, home, auto, etc. would pay me a lump sum for ALL the money that I’ve paid into them over the years…..I’d have MORE than enough to cover ANY problem that would come along! It’s amazing that we keep paying into these insurance companies, never file a claim, and then they keep charging us more and more! They’re getting “free” money basically and those of us who rarely, if ever, file claims, are the ones that are paying for those that file MANY claims. It seems to me that they should charge more for every claim that you file…..that way, those of us who rarely file a claim, would not be stuck paying more and more for other people’s problems! Just a thought…..

  7. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 25, 2017

    The GOP ignored the sign saying “DANGER! Unyielding Brick Wall Ahead!”, but being so blinded by their racist attitudes so often and sometimes overtly expressed, and always by their Right WIng Propaganda outlets, they decided to let a blithering idiotic mentality impel them forward.
    With Trump and the Ryan defying physics and logic, and having no clue as to how to “negotiate” their way around the wall, they decided to hit the wall face first.

    OUCH! That must really hurt. Better take a shower, fellas, and take a long nap—preferably for 4 years. Pleasant dreams?

  8. FT66 March 25, 2017

    We warned them in advance not to touch ACA, but they didn’t listen. Here we are, the ambarrassment the have got has been felt everywhere.

  9. Eleanore Whitaker March 25, 2017

    King Rat Ryan has ideas of being the President even though he wasn’t elected. This weasel is going to now be a Trump target in the way only a corporate CEO can pull off. Ryan is simply unprepared for the vengeance of The Donald.

    As for Trump, this is only the first of his failures. In past US history, if the first major piece of legislation sponsored by a president fails, the house of cards begins to fall in. Trump will not get that budget passed nor any of his other “promises” now that Ryan failed the Trump test.

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  11. Thoughtopsy March 25, 2017


    So their shi1tty, half-pie, fast-tracked, dead-of-night, 6 week bill failed due to…. wait for it… their own crazy right wingers.

    Is anyone surprised?

    Does anyone actually think these schmucks can govern?
    It’s three parties in one:
    – the crazy, ideological barely intellectual right wing “Freedom” morons.
    – the greedy NRA/Oil and Gas/Anyone-who-will-pay-me pandering money grubbers.
    – the intellectual and smart Conservatives with a reasonable grasp of political strategy.

    If they had gerrymandered another 10 Congressional seats, and had another 10 Senators do you think there would have been a different result? (i.e. That it would have made it into law past both the Senate and the House?)
    I don’t.

    They’ve sucked up to idiocy, racism, fear, paranoia, bigotry, ideological purity, the KKK and the anti-education/anti-science moron fringe for so long that a substantial chunk of their party is now MADE of that group. Until they purge it, they will remain hamstrung by the dynamic tension between the right wingnuts, the greedy, the few moderates, and the smart conservative elites.

  12. Magnus Thunderson March 25, 2017

    8 years to develop a plan and all they can up is horribly flawed plan that Ryan created 8 year ago when he ran

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  13. dpaano March 29, 2017

    First of all, the ONLY person to blame for this fiasco is Trump himself. He promised his followers more benefits and lower prices, but he did NOTHING to help Congress come up with a plan to accomplish this. He didn’t work with them or give them any kind of instructions (mainly because he had NO plan to begin with) as to what and how he wanted the new health plan to work. But, since he fails to take the blame for ANYTHING, he first blamed the Democrats; then he blamed the Freedom Caucus; and then he blamed Paul Ryan. Unfortunately, he needs to understand that he can’t just make off-the-wall promises to people and expect Congress to deal with the consequences! He had NO idea what he was talking about when he promised them more benefits for less money; and he has NO plans for any of his other so-called promises! He’ll leave the dirty work up to Congress and when they fail….he certainly won’t be the one that will take the blame! He’s the most useless president we’ve EVER seen! If he’d spend more time in the Oval Office (notice how clean his desk is) and less time playing golf at Mar-a-Lago….he might be able to get something meaningful done for his followers! If I were them, however, I wouldn’t count on it! Unfortunately, like most CEO’s, he thinks he can “delegate and follow up” his job as president…..government doesn’t work that way! The buck stops at HIS desk and his job is a 24/7 job!


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