When the bill was unable to achieve the needed 216 votes, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill after consulting with President Trump. Immediately thereafter, the President blamed Democrats for their complete opposition to the bill. Democrats know how disastrous Obamacare has been to Americans, but were unwilling to work with the GOP and President Trump on a replacement plan.
Instead they were united in voting against the American Health Care Act (AHCA), otherwise known as “Ryancare.” The only alternative offered by Democrats was to patch together a “fix” of Obamacare. This is directly counter to what President Trump promised in his campaign.
Obviously, he will not get anywhere trying to deal with a party that is working overtime to thwart his reform agenda. Thus, it was curious in recent days to see clear overtures from the President and his press secretary Sean Spicer to the Democrats to work together on a new healthcare bill.
This position represents the President, the master deal maker, posturing and threatening only in an effort to bring Republicans together. He clearly realizes that Democrats do not share his goals or outlook on the major problems facing the nation.
It is also the reason he criticized the Freedom Caucus for their opposition to the AHCA. He knows the Freedom Caucus is his strongest group of supporters, but he is using his bully pulpit to whip the GOP together to an attempt to save this issue for his party.
Without an Obamacare replacement, Republicans cannot move on to tax reform or the other major agenda items. If they fail on this issue, they will lose seats in the mid-term election and it could threaten the President’s re-election in 2020.
Obamacare is imploding with premiums continuing to rise and insurance companies continuing to withdraw from offering coverage in states across the nation.
It is essential that the GOP come back together and revisit the healthcare issue as soon as possible. The stakes are very high, not only for the American people, but also for the Republican Party.