‘Let Obamacare Fail,’ Trump Says as G.O.P. Health Bill Collapses
The seven-year Republican quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act seemed to reach a dead end Tuesday, but President Trump vowed to “let Obamacare fail.”
The seven-year Republican quest to undo the Affordable Care Act appeared to reach a dead end on Tuesday in the Senate, leaving President Trump vowing to let President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement collapse.
Mr. Trump declared that his plan was now to “let Obamacare fail,” and suggested that Democrats would then seek out Republicans to work together on a bill to bury the Affordable Care Act. If he is determined to make good on that pledge, he has plenty of levers to pull, from declining to reimburse insurance companies for reducing low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs to failing to enforce the mandate that most Americans have health coverage.
“It’ll be a lot easier,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, adding: “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
The fate of the repeal effort looked to be sealed on Tuesday, when a last-ditch attempt to force a vote to abolish the health law without a replacement fell short of support. The majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, seemed resolved to force senators to vote next week, but by Tuesday afternoon, it was clear he did not have 50 votes even to clear a procedural hurdle before considering a repeal-only measure.
Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all Republicans, declared that they would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement: enough to doom the effort before it could gain any momentum. Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, also rejected that path.
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