Paul Ryan has pulled the plug on his plan to finance a large tax cut for millionaire investors by throwing millions of low-income people off of Medicaid.
The Republican leadership delayed the vote on its health-care overhaul Thursday, hoping some last-minute surgery might revitalize the beleaguered bill. Instead, their hasty incisions left Trumpcare bleeding support. So, knowing it would not survive its trip to the House floor Friday afternoon, the White House and the speaker agreed to let it go quietly.
Or, that’s the official story, anyway. Earlier Friday, the Trump administration demanded that Ryan hold a vote on the bill, even if it would be voted down. According to Jonathan Swan of Axios, Ryan refused to subject himself to that humiliation.
President Trump told the Washington Post’s Robert Costa that he won’t try to repeal Obamacare again “anytime soon.” Instead, Trump plans to wait until Obamacare “explodes,” and Democrats become desperate to vote for a replacement.
(Trump regrets starting his agenda with health care). In a separate interview with the New York Times, the president said, “The best thing that could happen is exactly what happened — watch … It’s enough already.”
Minutes later, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he did not blame Speaker Ryan or the recalcitrant House Freedom Caucus for the bill’s failure — but he did say that “we learned a lot about loyalty” today. The president then reiterated his belief that Obamacare would “explode” in 2017, because Barack Obama designed his health-care law to collapse right after he completed his second term.
“I said the other day … 17: He knew he wasn’t going to be here,” Trump explained.
Paul Ryan struck some of the same notes in his Friday-afternoon press conference, although the speaker did not suggest that preserving president Obama’s signature achievement was “the best thing that could have happened.”
“We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
Ryan told reporters, before lamenting that Democrats had not allowed him to do them the great favor of repealing Obamacare before its inevitable collapse. (The Congressional Budget Office does not believe Obamacare is collapsing. Furthermore, voters tend to blame the president’s party for bad things that happen while it holds the White House. Thus, there is little reason to believe that Democrats would be hurt by the American health-care system collapsing on Trump’s watch.)
Ryan then said that the Republicans would proceed with the rest of their agenda, beginning with tax reform.
Are you sick of winning, yet?