Efforts to implement the American Health Care Act, the Republican-backed healthcare plan that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, have failed.
The Affordable Care Act was often criticized by Donald Trump, even before he entered office, and Trump frequently vowed throughout his campaign that his administration would “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Trump promised that the transition from one healthcare plan to the other wold be smooth and almost instantaneous, claiming that the new plan would pass on the same day that the old plan was repealed. The first step to repeal the Affordable Care Act, however, has still not been completed.
The bill would need to receive 215 favorable votes to pass in the House of Representatives. Since no Democrats have expressed support for it, no more than 22 of the 237 Republicans who are in the House of Representatives could vote against the bill in the event of it passing in the House.
President Trump’s agreement to benefit insurance providers by omitting from the American Health Care Act several basic services that are required by the Affordable Care Act concerned and scared away many moderate Republicans, costing the bill some much needed votes.
“Obamacare is the law of the land,” Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, conceded in a press conference. “It’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced. We did not have quite the votes to replace this law. And so, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”