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House Leaders 'Came Up Short' In Effort To Kill Obamacare

By Kaiser Health News  
   March 27, 2017

President Trump warned that the Obamacare insurance markets remain in serious danger "bad things are going to happen to Obamacare," he told reporters at the White House.

This article first appeared March 24, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Mary Agnes Carey

Despite days of intense negotiations and last-minute concessions to win over wavering GOP conservatives and moderates, House Republican leaders Friday failed to secure enough support to pass their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill from consideration after he rushed to the White House to tell President Donald Trump that there weren't the 216 votes necessary for passage.

"We came really close today, but we came up short," he told reporters at a hastily called news conference.

When pressed about what happens to the federal health law, he added, "Obamacare is the law of the land. … We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."

Trump laid the blame at the feet of Democrats, complaining that not one was willing to help Republicans on the measure, and he warned again that the Obamacare insurance markets are in serious danger. "Bad things are going to happen to Obamacare," he told reporters at the White House. "There's not much you can do to help it. I've been saying that for a year and a half. I said, look, eventually it's not sustainable. The insurance companies are leaving."

But he said the collapse of the bill might allow Republicans and Democrats to work on a replacement. "I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say, 'Look, let's get together and get a great health care bill or plan that's really great for the people of our country,'" he said.

Ryan originally had hoped to hold a floor vote on the measure Thursday — timed to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the ACA — but decided to delay that effort because GOP leaders didn't have enough "yes" votes. The House was in session Friday before his announcement while members debated the bill.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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