From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — The seven-year Republican quest to undo the Affordable Care Act appeared to reach a dead end on Tuesday in the Senate, leaving President Trump vowing to let President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement collapse.
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Mr. Trump declared that his plan was now to “let Obamacare fail,” and suggested that Democrats would then seek out Republicans to work together on a bill to bury the Affordable Care Act.
“It’ll be a lot easier,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, adding: “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
The fate of the repeal effort looked to be sealed on Tuesday, when a last-ditch attempt to force a vote to abolish the health law without a replacement fell short of support. The majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, seemed resolved to force senators to vote next week, but by Tuesday afternoon, it was clear he did not have 50 votes even to clear a procedural hurdle before considering a repeal-only measure.
Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all Republicans, declared that they would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement: enough to doom the effort before it could gain any momentum. Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, also rejected that path.
The collapse highlighted a harsh reality for Senate Republicans: While they freely assailed the health law when Mr. Obama occupied the White House, they could not come up with a workable plan to unwind it that would keep both moderate Republicans and conservatives on board. It was an enormous embarrassment for a party that rode electoral waves to control first the House, then the Senate and then the White House, but has not been able to deliver a major legislative victory.
From BUSINESS INSIDER:
House Speaker Paul Ryan is blaming Senate Republicans for the party’s failure to pass new healthcare legislation, saying he hopes House Republicans’ “friends in the Senate can figure out how they can get a bill passed.”
Ryan, who led the effort to pass the House version of the healthcare bill, said the House had fulfilled its responsibilities and the effort to replace President Barack Obama’s signature legislation had come to rest fully on the Senate.
“We’ve done this in the House — we passed our simultaneous repeal-and-replace bill,” Ryan said. “We think that’s the solution, we think that’s the best way to go, and so we’re just gonna have to wait and hope that our friends in the Senate can figure out how they can get a bill passed, get it into conference, or whatever, and get something passed.”
Ryan said he and his House colleagues were “proud” of the House bill, known as the American Health Care Act, which Republican lawmakers in the Senate have rewritten in an attempt to gain support both from conservatives who want a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and more moderate members who oppose deep cuts to Medicaid. The AHCA received very low approval ratings in polls.