Trump should use health care defeat to build coalitions in both partiesBy Gladys Abbott Mar 31, 2017
"First of all, we are not working with anybody who says we're going to repeal the Affordable Care Act", Pelosi told moderator John Dickerson.
Last week Donald Trump said he was going to "come after" congressman Mark Meadows, the head of the House Freedom Caucus, if he didn't support the American Health Care Act. The group had gone nearly entirely around House leadership and negotiated directly with Trump ahead of the bill being pulled.
"I think it will actually, I think it's going to happen, because we've all been promising - Democrat, Republican - we've all been promising that to the American people", said Trump.
"I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us", Ryan said. That doesn't mean that we're not going to get there. And a slender majority say covering all Americans is a federal responsibility - a view embraced by Democrats but not Republicans, who instead focus on access and lower premiums.
Of six changes the failed House GOP bill would have made to President Barack Obama's law, five drew more negative than positive reviews.
"There is a better way to negotiate a positive outcome than for the president to use the approach of lumping the Freedom Caucus in with Democrats, setting them up as the enemy of the people", said JoAnn Fleming, the Texas-based executive director of Grassroots America, who has deep contacts throughout the Texas grass-roots conservative movement.
Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), a member of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday that "everybody wants it to happen now" and that "once the groups come together, they're not that far off".
Trump's deteriorating relationship with Republican House conservatives could make it harder for him to pass his legislative agenda, which includes rewriting the USA tax code, revisiting a healthcare overhaul and funding construction of a wall along the U.S. But as Republicans attempt to pick up the pieces and move forward, not all is lost and Friday's vote shortage shouldn't be taken as a sign nothing can be accomplished in the future.
The Freedom Caucus has also lost the support of another key ally this week: the president.
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House Republicans will continue to work on a health care overhaul, Speaker Paul Ryan said on March 28.
If the health bill falters in the House, though, it will be the most fraught moment of GOP tension since the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape.
"There was a lot of angst and a lot of unhappiness, much of it was aimed at the Freedom Caucus", he said. Weber also said he is now confident health care will be brought back up in the House. He added that they would "keep talking to each other and figure out how we get to yes and how we get this bill passed".
Ryan also said he does not believe that Trump is under investigation for ties to Russian Federation.
Franks said when the House Freedom Caucus demanded more substantive changes to the Ryancare bill, it was not looking to score advantages for its members' districts.
But House leaders played down the potential that they would return quickly to the health-care push.
"The American people don't want us to repeal the law", he said. Similarly, other House Republicans were convinced that the HFC was opposed to allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 and allowing states to establish risk pools, when both had the support of the caucus. The prospect of repealing and replacing Obamacare has been so critical to Republican success, it is arguably responsible for hollowing out the Democratic Party.
The Republican Party is in big trouble. Meanwhile, moderates like Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME are pushing other options for the individual market that they hope could win bipartisan support.
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