Capitol Hill conservatives took satisfaction in Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) decision to withdraw the American Health Care Act from the House floor Friday afternoon—minutes before congressmen were to vote on the bill crafted to rescue the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.
“I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people and standing up against Obamacare Lite,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—the sponsor of his own bill, the Obamacare Repeal Act, S. 554, which is the same legislation, with an updated timeline, to repeal major components of Obamacare that every Republican in the House and Senate voted to pass in 2015.
“I look forward to passing full repeal of Obamacare in the very near future,” the senator said.
Paul authored the free-market-based Obamacare Replacement Act, S. 222. This bill removes the Essential Health Benefits provision of Obamacare, expands what is permitted for the Health Savings Accounts, allows Americans to buy insurance across state lines, and allows Americans to form their own insurance buying pools.
No man is more responsible for the House Republican leadership pulling the Ryancare bill off the floor than Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. Meadows weathered incredible pressure from the White House and the Speaker’s team, but he would not give up on changes the HFC needed to have in hand before they swung around the over 25 solid No-votes the caucus whipped.
“I promised the people of North Carolina’s 11th District that I would fight for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement with a market-driven approach that brings down costs and provides more choices for the American people,” said Meadows, who was called out by President Donald Trump at Wednesday’s meeting between the president and the entire House Republican Conference.
“I remain wholeheartedly committed to following through on this promise,” he said. “I know President Trump is committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a system that works for American families, and I look forward to working with him do just that.”
The man who founded and led the HFC before Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), said House Republicans cannot waste time putting together a better alternative to Obamacare.
“Obamacare is a disaster, and repealing it remains one of my top priorities,” said Jordan. “It’s why I introduced a clean repeal bill and have been pushing for a vote.”
Jordan said the American Health Care Act was not good enough. House Republicans owe it to our constituents to immediately get back to the drawing board and bring forward a bolder effort to replace the failing Obamacare with a plan to reduce costs by increasing choice and competition, he said.
We must immediately return 2 drawing board, bring bolder effort 2 replace #Obamacare w/ plan 2 reduce costs by increasing choice/competition
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 24, 2017
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee was a strong advocate of complete repeal of Obamacare, followed by a considerable time of debate about what to replace it with.
“The decision to pull this bill was a sound, commonsense one,” said. Lee. “We can now begin the hard and necessary process to get this right,” he added.
“The reality is that the current House bill was not ready for the House floor and certainly not ready for the Senate. We need an open, transparent, and deliberate process. The stakes for all Americans are simply too high for anything else,” the senator said.
Another strong conservative happy the bill got pulled is Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a former state judge.
Gohmert told Fox News host Neil Cavuto that the House Republican leadership pulled the bill because they knew they lost moderate congressmen; and if they pulled the bill before the vote they could blame it on the House conservatives and the moderates would get a hall pass.
Regardless of the politics Ryancare was flawed, the Texan said.
“This bill was going to be a problem,” Gohmert said.
“More federal government, more federal control is not the answer,” he said.
“The president gave it an incredible try on a bill that was really like he said – had some problems,” Gohmert added.
“People all over our conference were hearing from people at home saying that this is a disaster. ‘Please don’t do this.’ There’s so many noble people that were going, all right, ‘I’ll take one for the team but this is isn’t a good bill,'” he concluded.