WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the U.S. is “going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future” after he abruptly canceled a scheduled vote on the contentious Republican health care bill Friday.
“Obamacare is the law of the land, and it will remain the law of the land until it’s replaced,” Ryan said.
The vote on the American Health Care Act planned for Friday afternoon was scuttled minutes before it was to be held. House Republican leaders and the White House failed to win over a bloc of conservative members who thought the measure didn’t go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains,” Ryan told reporters Friday afternoon. “We’re feeling those growing pains today.”
The failure to bring the bill to a vote is a major embarrassment for President Trump, Ryan and congressional Republicans, who had vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act since its passage in 2010.
“We came really close today, but we came up short,” Ryan said.
Republican members of the conservative Freedom Caucus had balked at the bill’s failure to repeal insurance regulations and presented a unified front that ultimately forced Ryan to pull the measure.
A House Republican aide told CBS News that Mr. Trump spoke to Ryan at 3 p.m. Friday and asked him to cancel the vote.
Ryan said Mr. Trump has “really been fantastic” in advocating for the bill, saying he “gave his all in this effort.”
Ryan informed members of the Republican caucus of his decision to cancel the vote during a meeting shortly after the cancellation. Following the meeting, Rep. Bill Flores of Texas told CBS News’ Walt Cronkite that Ryan told members the GOP would be pulling the bill and moving on to another subject. Flores said Ryan told the caucus they would focus on other reforms for now.