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Trump shocked over healthcare republicans legislation plan.


President Donald
Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress
controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation
to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign
promise of the president and his allies.
Republican
leaders of the House of Representatives pulled the legislation due to a
shortage of votes despite desperate lobbying by the White House and its
allies in Congress, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative
initiative since taking office on Jan. 20 ended in failure.

House
Republicans had planned a vote on the measure after Trump late on
Thursday cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the
plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose.

Republican
moderates as well as the most conservative lawmakers had objected to
the legislation. The White House and House leaders were unable to come
up with a plan that satisfied both moderates and conservatives, despite
Trump’s vaunted image as a deal maker.
“We
learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote-getting
process,” Trump told reporters at the White House, although he sought to
shift the blame to the Democrats, who were unified in their opposition,
even though his party controls the White House, the House and the
Senate.

Amid a chaotic scramble for
votes, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who championed the
bill, met with Trump at the White House before the bill was pulled from
the House floor after hours of debate. Ryan said he recommended that the
legislation be withdrawn from the House floor because he did not have
the votes to pass it, and that Trump agreed.

“There
were things in this bill that I didn’t particularly like,” Trump added,
without specifying what those were, but expressed confidence in Ryan’s
leadership.
“Perhaps the best thing
that could happen is exactly what happened today, because we’ll end up
with a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess known
as Obamacare explodes,” Trump said.

Friday’s events cast doubt on whether Ryan can get major legislation approved by fractious Republican lawmakers.
“I
will not sugarcoat this. This is a disappointing day for us,” Ryan said
at a news conference, adding that his fellow Republicans are
experiencing what he called “growing pains” transitioning from an
opposition party to a governing party.
“Doing big things is hard,” Ryan added, noting that he got close but failed to muster the 216 votes needed to pass it.

Ryan said he did not know what the next steps
would be on healthcare, but called Obamacare so flawed that it would be
hard to prop up.
Without the
bill’s passage in Congress, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s
signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Affordable Care Act –
known as Obamacare – remains in place despite seven years of Republican
promises to dismantle it.

Repealing
and replacing Obamacare was a top campaign promise by Trump in last
year’s presidential election, as well as by most Republican candidates,
“from dog-catcher on up,” as White House spokesman Sean Spicer put it
during a briefing on Friday.

AGENDA AT RISK

The House failure to pass the
measure called into question Trump’s ability to get other key parts of
his agenda, including tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending,
through Congress.

News that the
bill had been pulled before a final vote was greeted initially with a
small sigh of relief by U.S. equity investors, who earlier in the week
had been fretful that an outright defeat would damage Trump’s other
priorities, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Benchmark U.S.
stock market indexes ended the session mixed after rallying back from
session lows following the news. The S&P 500 Index ended
fractionally lower, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped
about 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose about 0.2 percent.
The dollar also strengthened modestly on the news and U.S. Treasury
bond yields edged up from session lows. “There’s nobody that
objectively can look at this effort and say the president didn’t do
every single thing he possibly could with this team to get every vote
possible,” Spicer told reporters before the legislation was pulled.

Trump
already has been stymied by federal courts that blocked his executive
actions barring entry into the United States of people from several
Muslim-majority nations. Some Republicans worry a defeat on the
healthcare legislation could cripple his presidency just two months
after the wealthy New York real estate mogul took office.

In
a blow to the bill’s prospects, House Appropriations Committee Chairman
Rodney Frelinghuysen announced his opposition, expressing concern about
reductions in coverage under the Medicaid insurance program for the
poor and the retraction of “essential” health benefits that insurers
must cover. 
“We need to get this right for all Americans,” Frelinghuysen said.
Republican
Representative Dana Rohrabacher said before the bill was pulled that
voting it down would be “neutering Trump” while empowering his
opponents.
“You don’t cut the
balls off a bull and then expect that he can go out and get the job
done,” Rohrabacher told Reuters. “This will emasculate Trump and we
can’t do that. … If we bring this down now, Trump will have lost all
of his leverage to pass whatever bill it is, whether it’s the tax bill
or whatever reforms that he wants.”
Trump
and House Republican leaders could not afford to lose many votes in
their own party because Democrats were unified in opposition, saying the
bill would take away medical insurance from millions of Americans and
leave the more-than-$3 trillion U.S. healthcare system in disarray.

Ryan said he did not know what the next steps
would be on healthcare, but called Obamacare so flawed that it would be
hard to prop up.
Without the
bill’s passage in Congress, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s
signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Affordable Care Act –
known as Obamacare – remains in place despite seven years of Republican
promises to dismantle it.
Repealing
and replacing Obamacare was a top campaign promise by Trump in last
year’s presidential election, as well as by most Republican candidates,
“from dog-catcher on up,” as White House spokesman Sean Spicer put it
during a briefing on Friday.

AGENDA AT RISK

The House failure to pass the
measure called into question Trump’s ability to get other key parts of
his agenda, including tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending,
through Congress.

News that the
bill had been pulled before a final vote was greeted initially with a
small sigh of relief by U.S. equity investors, who earlier in the week
had been fretful that an outright defeat would damage Trump’s other
priorities, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
Benchmark U.S.
stock market indexes ended the session mixed after rallying back from
session lows following the news. The S&P 500 Index ended
fractionally lower, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped
about 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose about 0.2 percent.
The dollar also strengthened modestly on the news and U.S. Treasury
bond yields edged up from session lows. “There’s nobody that
objectively can look at this effort and say the president didn’t do
every single thing he possibly could with this team to get every vote
possible,” Spicer told reporters before the legislation was pulled.

Trump
already has been stymied by federal courts that blocked his executive
actions barring entry into the United States of people from several
Muslim-majority nations. Some Republicans worry a defeat on the
healthcare legislation could cripple his presidency just two months
after the wealthy New York real estate mogul took office.

In
a blow to the bill’s prospects, House Appropriations Committee Chairman
Rodney Frelinghuysen announced his opposition, expressing concern about
reductions in coverage under the Medicaid insurance program for the
poor and the retraction of “essential” health benefits that insurers
must cover. 
“We need to get this right for all Americans,” Frelinghuysen said.
Republican
Representative Dana Rohrabacher said before the bill was pulled that
voting it down would be “neutering Trump” while empowering his
opponents.
“You don’t cut the
balls off a bull and then expect that he can go out and get the job
done,” Rohrabacher told Reuters. “This will emasculate Trump and we
can’t do that. … If we bring this down now, Trump will have lost all
of his leverage to pass whatever bill it is, whether it’s the tax bill
or whatever reforms that he wants.”
Trump
and House Republican leaders could not afford to lose many votes in
their own party because Democrats were unified in opposition, saying the
bill would take away medical insurance from millions of Americans and
leave the more-than-$3 trillion U.S. healthcare system in disarray.

Republican supporters said the plan would achieve their goal of rolling back the government’s “nanny state” role in healthcare.
Obamacare
boosted the number of Americans with health insurance through mandates
on individuals and employers, and income-based subsidies. About 20
million Americans gained insurance coverage through the law.
The
nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said under the Republican
legislation 14 million people would lose medical coverage by next year
and more than 24 million would be uninsured in 2026.

Days
of negotiations involving Republican lawmakers and the White House led
to some changes in the bill but failed to produce a consensus deal.
The
House plan would rescind a range of taxes created by Obamacare, end a
penalty on people who refuse to obtain health insurance, end Obamacare’s
income-based subsidies to help people buy insurance while creating
less-generous age-based tax credits
It
also would end Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid state-federal
insurance program for the poor, cut future federal Medicaid funding and
let states impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients.

House
leaders agreed to a series of last-minute changes to try to win over
disgruntled conservatives, including ending the Obamacare requirement
that insurers cover certain “essential benefits” such as maternity care,
mental health services and prescription drug coverage.

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