After a week of emergency meetings and last-minute attempts to unify their party, Republican leaders pulled their Obamacare repeal bill from the House floor Friday when it became clear they didn’t have enough support to pass.
The decision comes as a major defeat for President Donald Trump, who during the campaign bragged that Obamacare repeal would be “so easy.”
“Together we’re going to deliver real change that once again puts Americans first,” Trump said at an October rally in Florida. “That begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare…You’re going to have such great health care, at a tiny fraction of the cost—and it’s going to be so easy.”
Trump also argued on the campaign trail that electing a Republican-controlled Congress would allow him to quickly dismantle the health care law and pass other pieces of legislation. “With a Republican House and Senate, we will immediately repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare,” Trump said at another event. “A Republican House and Senate can swiftly enact the other items in my contract immediately, including massive tax reduction.”
“We will [repeal and replace Obamacare], and we will do it very, very quickly,” Trump said during the final week of the campaign. “It is a catastrophe.”
Trump’s confidence in his ability to win the health care fight continued through the first few weeks of his presidency. On February 9, he bragged that when it came to repealing Obamacare, “Nobody can do that like me.”
We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare – and nobody can do that like me. We will save $’s and have much better healthcare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2016
By the end of February, Trump had changed his tune somewhat. “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” the president said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”
One person who certainly did know was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who successfully shepherded Obamacare through the House in 2010. On Thursday, she mocked Trump for trying to rush the repeal bill through the chamber, calling it a “Rookie’s error.”
“Clearly you are not ready,” Pelosi said.