Speaker Paul Ryan deserves some of the blame for what happened to repeal and replace, but it's nave to assume that the Republican dominance of Congress and an ally at the White House translates easily into effective lawmaking.
The American Health Care Act was pulled from the floor and it was made a decision to forget about the Republican pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare for the foreseeable future.
"You're going to have instability in the market otherwise", Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who leads the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor and Health and Human Services, told reporters Monday, adding it would be hard for the subcommittee to fund them under its current allocation but they were still discussing it. "We don't", said Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Florida. "I have no doubt that's going to happen very quickly". "Sorry that didn't work", McConnell added.
"Repeal-and-replace" would not, as Trump has claimed, produce "a lovely picture".
We have long known that the first priority of our elected officials was to get reelected, but it's now apparent that serving their constituents has fallen behind supporting the president and party leaders.
Short pointed to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, whose nomination will be on the Senate floor next week, as well as a looming funding deadline on April 28 that must be met to keep the lights on in the government. Not even a majority of Republicans liked the terrible plan cooked up by the House, which would have left 24 million people uninsured over the next decade.
President Donald Trump, ready to wipe his hands clean of the health care defeat, said he is shifting his focus to tax reform and infrastructure. Now, President Trump must make a decisive decision that the country will march back to freedom in health care rather than advancing toward socialized medicine under corporate cover. And that's such an easy one. Trump and his administration must stop pointing fingers and work with Republicans and Democrats to ensure millions of Americans are not left uninsured. Klein provides a devastating critique of the health care bill and compares it to the failure of the Iraq War under President George W. Bush.
The real question facing Republicans is one Mr.Ryan fielded Friday: "Do we try to prop it up?" On Monday, just three days later, Ryan said: "If Obamacare just stays as is, that's not acceptable to the American people". House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said, "We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do".
"To my Democrat colleagues who were celebrating Friday's action, I think their celebration is premature because I think we're closer today to repealing Obamacare than we've ever been before, and surely even closer than we were Friday", he said.
Those comments landed with a thud on the Senate side.
The hope is that adult members of both parties will put politics aside and work to craft legislation that would actually help people, and put the health care system on a sustainable trajectory. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said: "No. I'm about health-cared out".
Had such a bill come up during the "honeymoon" of George W. Bush's first term in office, Republican leaders in the House would have cracked the whip and jammed it through.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is encouraging members to continue talking to each other about health care to "get to a place of yes" on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to his spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Keeping Planned Parenthood and the border wall out of the spending bill would greatly improve its chances to get necessary Democratic votes in the Senate, although conservatives in both chambers might object.