We’re going to win at every single level. We’re going to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to win on health care, we’re going to start winning on every level. I say it kiddingly, but I mean it 100 percent: We’re going to win, win, win! We’re going to win so much, you’re going to get sick and tired of it. You’re going to say “Mr. President, we can’t take it anymore, we’re winning too much! Please, we don’t want to win that much anymore, we can’t take it, Mr. President!” And I’m not going to care — we’re going to keep winning!
– Donald Trump on the campaign trail last year (March 16th, 2016)
Conceding that they simply don’t have the votes to pass the massive wealth transfer that they falsely call a replacement for the Patient Protection Act, Paul Ryan and top House Republicans today threw in the towel on H.R. 1628, canceling a planned vote that Donald Trump had insisted be held only hours earlier.
Despite having a large majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and despite having control of the rest of the federal government, feuding Republicans were unable to marshal the requisite number of votes needed to pass the wealth transfer scheme disguised as a health bill that the Trump regime wanted.
“We’re going to be living with [the Patient Protection Act] for the foreseeable future,” Paul Ryan conceded in a news conference following the decision.
Abandoning the swagger he had previously showed, he acknowledged it was a defeat for the Republican Party. “I will not sugarcoat this, this is a disappointing day for us… This is a setback, no two ways about it.”
A furious Trump says he blames Democrats for the collapse of the legislation.
“We couldn’t get one Democratic vote and we were a little bit shy, very little, but it was still a little bit shy so we pulled it,” he told The Washington Post.
Of course Trump blames Democrats; as far as he is concerned, Democrats are to blame for everything that doesn’t go his way. All Democrats did here was say no — and they don’t even control any branch of the federal government anymore.
Neither Trump nor Ryan ever made any attempt to work with Democrats to develop legislation on healthcare. And that is because they didn’t want to. They are not interested in expanding access to healthcare for the American people.
What they are interested in is gutting our country’s social contract and enrich the already wealthy with a $1 trillion tax cut. And they wanted Democratic participation (more like capitulation) so they could claim later that the destruction of the Patient Protection Act was bipartisan. They wanted Democrats to simply lay down, betray their principles, and cough up some votes in support of one of the most monstrous, atrocious bills ever seen in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But Democrats — remembering the enormous political capital that was expended to pass the Patient Protection Act in the first place — wisely refused to have anything to do with Trumpcuts. They stood united in their opposition. And they have been rewarded. They and the millions of Americans who spoke out against this bill have won the day. Republicans, despite being in power, have lost.
Governor Jay Inslee led the way in lauding the implosion of H.R. 1658.
“Today 600,000 Washingtonians beat Congress, and can rest easy knowing that Speaker Ryan and President Trump have failed in their misguided attempt to destroy health care in America,” said Inslee. “Today’s decision to cancel the vote on [Trumpcuts] — legislation that would have taken coverage away from twenty-four million Americans — is an enormous victory for Washington.”
“This victory didn’t happen by chance. Thousands of Washingtonians made their voices heard at town halls and in phone calls and emails to Congress. The Republican plan to take away health from millions of Americans and give tax breaks to millionaires was unacceptable.”
“I’m pleased that President Trump and Speaker Ryan have indicated that they will move on, and give up their effort to repeal this landmark law that has done so much good in Washington, and across the United States.”
“Today is a victory for 24 million Americans who will continue to have health care,” agreed U.S Representative Pramila Jayapal of Seattle.
“It’s a victory for older Americans who won’t have to pay thousands more in premiums. It’s a victory for women who can continue to access critical birth control and lifesaving care. It’s a victory for people with pre-existing conditions who won’t be penalized for things beyond their control. It is a victory for all of us.”
“If this bill comes to the House floor again, we will organize and defeat it. We know when we organize, we win. We cannot be complacent. This is just another fight in a series of battles. But today, we can say that we protected care for tens of millions of Americans across the country.”
“Republicans spent seven years vowing to turn back the clock on health care for women, seniors and families—but it took just a few weeks of them trying to jam [Trumpcuts] through Congress to realize that people across the country absolutely reject their plans to increase premiums, cut millions of people off of their insurance coverage, eliminate women’s health care options, and put the insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray.
“This victory will make all the difference in the lives of patients, families, and seniors nationwide. I am so grateful to the millions of people who spoke up, not just for themselves but for friends and neighbors—for access to Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, and for a country that works to make sure all families have affordable, quality health care. Today shows just how powerful your voices are.”
“We will be vigilant in defending against continuing efforts to put the interests of insurance companies and the wealthy ahead of patients’ health and welfare. I fear that while [Trumpcuts] was dealt a significant blow today, the terrible ideas that underpin it will live on with Republicans in Congress and the White House. I hope that Republicans will learn from this, and instead, put people over partisan politics and work with us to build on the Affordable Care Act and make health care even more affordable, more accessible, and higher quality.”
“We’ve been preparing for the worst at the state level, drafting legislation to help backfill losses in coverage if the ACA is repealed, and urging our state’s congressional delegation to do whatever they can to preserve coverage for Washingtonians,” said Democratic State Senator Annette Cleveland of Clark County, the ranking member on the Senate Health Care Committee.
“If Congress is unable to repeal and replace the ACA, a lot of very vulnerable Washingtonians will be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief.”
“The health care of more than 600,000 Washingtonians is at stake,” pointed out Eileen Cody, Chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. “Hundreds of thousands of people across our state have better care and have more secure futures thanks to the ACA. Under the TrumpCareLess Plan, all of those people could lose their access to care and that cannot be allowed.”
“If Republicans crafted legislation that lived up to the promise of ‘insurance for everybody’ at lower cost, they would have broad support for their efforts,” said U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01), who delivered a blistering floor speech lambasting the bill earlier in the day.
“But it’s clear this bill left middle-class families, seniors, women and people with disabilities far worse off. Allowing 24 million Americans to go uncovered is just wrong,” DelBene added. “Since coming to Congress, I have worked tirelessly to find commonsense fixes to our nation’s healthcare laws.”
“We should build upon the reforms we’ve already made to expand coverage and reduce costs — this bill did none of that. Instead, most Americans would have ended up paying more for less, while millions more would find coverage completely out of reach. I’m relieved we were able to stop this dangerous legislation before it completely destabilized our nation’s healthcare system.”