Looks like the votes just weren't there. News is breaking that President Donald Trump has asked House Speaker Paul Ryan to give up on a vote on the American Health Care Act.
While it's a gigantic embarrassment that shows the limits of Trump's bullying powers over GOP lawmakers, it's probably less embarrassing than losing the vote altogether.
And it's not like the legislation would have passed the Senate anyhow.
Where this fustercluck goes from here is anyone's guess.
ETA: Both Trump and Ryan have said efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are on hold, with Ryan telling reporters: “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
Trump, meanwhile, has blamed Democrats for failing to get behind the plan to repeal Barack Obama's signature bill. He said today that he'd move on to other parts of his agenda.
U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ01) celebrated the collapse of the repeal effort:
The American people made their voices heard and helped defeat the AHCA. This health care bill would have devastated our rural and tribal communities, harmed seniors, and eliminated tax credits for veterans eligible for government health care. Now we must get serious about crafting a bipartisan bill that improves our health care system and brings down the costs of health care and insurance premiums.
We need an open, transparent process that includes input from industry leaders and experts. No legislation should be drafted in closed-door meetings, hidden from the public. Neither party has all the solutions to our greatest challenges, and partisan gridlock is only setting us back. I continue to urge my colleagues to stop playing political games with the health and wellbeing of the American people and work together.
Congressman Raul Grijalva trolled Trump in his statement:
Donald Trump just asked House Republicans to walk the plank on healthcare with him, and they let him take the plunge alone. While health coverage for millions of Americans is safe for now, it’s important to remember that Republican orthodoxy still views this outcome as a failure. We can’t lose sight of the fact that the GOP just tried to cut off healthcare for 24 million Americans to help cover $600 billion in tax cuts to the rich.
The fact of the matter is the Affordable Care Act is working, and Republicans will face the wrath of the voters if they ever succeed in undermining it. The ACA covers seniors better than the GOP plan by protecting them from price-gouging, just as it helps women – and particularly women of color – by funding vital resources like Planned Parenthood. The American people fought for generations to secure healthcare as a right, and they just sent a clear message to Republicans that they won’t stand by and watch it become a commodity again.