The GOP has spent the past six years attempting to overturn the Affordable Care Act. However, despite all of that time and effort, they failed to come up with a workable plan and their repeal and replace effort has died in Congress
The American Health Care Act, the GOP alternative to the ACA, has been met with widespread criticism from Democrats and interest groups. However, neither of those organizations were what defeated this bill. Rather, POLITICO reports that the defeat comes at the hands of one of the most conservative groups in Congress, the Freedom Caucus.
The Freedom Caucus holds three dozen seats in the House of Representatives and has often warred with establishment members of their own party as much as they have with Democrats. Ryan and President Trump had hoped they would be able to sway members of the Freedom Caucus to their side by a variety of concessions, but they ultimately failed to do so.
The fight centered over the fact that the ACHA maintains many of the popular Obamacare provisions and regulations, several of which Trump did, in fact, promise to keep during his campaign.
Members of the Freedom Caucus argue that such regulations are harmful to consumers and make it more difficult for people to get insurance. He even joked that the only good thing about the AHCA was that it had managed to unite both Republicans and Democrats.
Repealing EHB, w/out making other substantial changes, would make the bill worse, not better. It would hurt the sickest people on exchanges.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 23, 2017
One great thing about this bill is that it has brought Americans together: Republicans and Democrats at home are united against it.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 22, 2017
However, not all Republicans are pleased with the Freedom Caucus. Rep. Mike Kelly, an ardent Trump supporter, accused the Freedom Caucus of not negotiating in good faith.
‘The president is good at negotiating, but he has to have someone who wants to get to yes. I was never able to sell a car or a truck to someone who didn’t want a car or a truck. It just doesn’t work. And that’s where we are right now. I don’t think they’re really interested in getting to an “end.” Maybe the end is: making sure it doesn’t pass’
This bill marks a significant legislative defeat for both Paul Ryan and Trump. The failure to repeal Obamacare represents a failure of Trump’s ability to deliver on his promise of providing better and cheaper healthcare to the American people. We’re certain haven’t heard the last of the repeal and replace mantra, but hopefully the next bill will actually address the needs of the American people and improve Obamacare rather than replacing it.
Featured image via Getty Images.