House Republican leaders abruptly pulled their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare just minutes ahead of a scheduled vote on Friday, March 24, Politico reported. The defeat is a crushing blow to President Donald Trump whose entire campaign rested on the promise of gutting former President Obama’s landmark health care policy.
Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) struggled to muster support for the bill in the days leading to the planned vote as more than 20 conservative and moderate Republicans voiced fierce opposition to the proposed legislation. Many argued that the American Health Care Act — or Trumpcare — doesn’t go far enough to replace Obamacare, while others said the problematic legislation would hurt the most vulnerable Americans.
The House could stand to lose only 22 votes in order to pass the bill.
On Friday afternoon, Ryan reportedly rushed the White House to inform the president he didn’t have enough votes for the AHCA to pass the lower chamber. Trump had the option to pull it from consideration in order to save face but declined and as late as 3 p.m., the House was still expected to vote on the bill.
Dissenting conservatives remained unbowed by Trump’s ultimatum delivered earlier this week to either vote in favor of Trumpcare or learn to live with Obamacare. Now that the bill has been pulled, the previous health care law will remain in place for the time being.
*This is a breaking story and will continued to be updated.