In what can only be considered a horrific blow to the new administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled President Trump’s healthcare bill from the floor just before the vote was to occur. Since no vote was taken, it is impossible to determine exactly how large of a defeat it would have been, with estimates ranging from five to thirty votes. What was clear at the time was there wern’t enough votes for passage, and instead of seeing how bad it was going to be, Trump had Ryan pull the bill.
For the past few days Trump campaigned hard for votes needed to pass the bill. With no Democrats voting for the bill, Trump need almost all of the Republicans to be in favor. However, there was disagreement from both the hard right conservatives in the Republican party who felt that the bill didn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare, and the moderate Republicans who felt it went to far. Members of both factions caused the bill to fail, and Trump stated afterwards it was time to move on.
So why did the bill fail and who is to blame? On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd pointed out that most significant bills take months if not years to finally get passed. This bill had only 17 days from the day it was rolled out until the the vote date which was arbitrarily set. Many felt rushing the bill to a vote instead of working out the bugs, negotiating and building consensus was to blame. If true, then the finger points to Paul Ryan. Some believe the hard right faction is to blame, as they tend to vote “no” on everything regardless the benefit to the citizens.
But the real person to blame is Trump. Even though he worked hard before the vote deadline to convince hesitant Republicans, he did not make any attempt to reach across the isle to win over any Democrats. He literally wrote the book on deal making, and he couldn’t make this deal. The reason for this is because in reality, the bill was terrible. If he had designed a bill that was better than Obamacare, one that lowered cost while providing the same or better coverage, he could have gotten just about every vote in the house. But this bill wasn’t better than Obamacare. It would cause 24 million people to lose their healthcare, the doctors hated it (AMA), the elderly hated it (AARP), and the hospitals and nurses hated it. It was a bad bill that Trump had no choice but try to slam through. After seven years of boasting and complaining, Trump and the Republicans had to fulfill their promise to do better, and they couldn’t. By not fulfilling his promise to present a better plan that everybody would love, Trump is to blame for this failure.