Republicans Won't Repeal Obamacare During Trump's First 100 Days In Office
On Thursday evening, it became clear that Republicans wouldn't repeal Obamacare within Trump's first 100 days in office after the House pushed the vote back yet again. Though Trump has decried the significance of a president's first 100 days in the White House, this is undeniably a disappointment for both the administration and for voters who believed the president would have enacted a new health care plan by now (like he had promised).
Still, even Paul Ryan downplayed the importance of the 100-day mark after the bill failed to rally enough votes on Thursday. According to The New York Times, Ryan brushed off Friday, the day Republicans hoped to hold a vote, as “some artificial deadline.”
“We’re going to go when we have the votes,” he said.
This isn't the first time Ryan's efforts have flopped due to chasms within his own party. An initial vote on the American Health Care Act, less formally known as Trumpcare, was set for Thursday, March 23, but was postponed after it became clear, much like it did this Thursday, that the bill would be shot down. However, Trump wasn't willing to wait any longer and gave Republicans no choice but to vote on the plan the following day on March 24. Due to disagreements between moderate Republicans and the so-called hyper-right wing House Freedom Caucus, the bill was pulled completely.
Many Americans believed that was the last they'd be hearing about repealing and replacing Obamacare for a long while — that is, until Trump's 100th day began creeping up.
Before the vote attempt in March, Trump told his fellow Republicans that if they couldn't come to a compromise, then too bad, so sad. They'd be stuck with Obamacare, as Trump promised to move on to prioritizing a tax plan instead. Thus, the White House's willingness to focus on attempting to pass a GOP health care bill, just over a month later, comes as a surprise. Then again, repealing and replacing Obamacare was one of Trump's defining promises during his campaign. In fact, according to ThinkProgress' numbers, Trump vowed to get rid of Obama's landmark piece of legislation at least 68 times.
Now, it looks as though the Americans who voted for him based on that promise will have to wait until the GOP can come to a compromise between moderate Republicans and the House Freedom Caucus. Although the former gave its official approval of the revised, more conservative version of the health care bill on Wednesday, moderate Republican legislators still weren't convinced.
The revised version of the bill would have let states allow insurers the option of denying customers "essential health benefits," which could lead to lower premiums but skimpy coverage plans. On top of that, there would have been no cap on what insurers could charge customers with pre-existing conditions. According to The New York Times' count, 18 Republicans signaled they'd turn the bill down if it went to a vote.
Whether or not that will change after Trump's 100th day has passed is up in the air, but one thing is for certain: Satisfying both moderate and hard-line Republicans will be no walk in the park.