Healthcare Bust! No Deal as Congress Goes into Recess

Ben Kew,

The failure of Republicans’ recent health care reform bill to pass through Congress and win popular support means there will be no changes to America’s crumbling health care system as lawmakers head into a two-week recess.

The bill, the chief architect of which was Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, was dubbed Obamacare 2.0, as it failed to fully repeal parts of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

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Some of the problems with the bill included persistent rising health care costs and maintaining certain health care provisions for illegal aliens, potentially leaving both Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration vulnerable to an electoral backlash.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to fully repeal and replace Obamacare, making it a priority during his first months in office. Having taken office, Trump’s first executive order called on federal agencies to “ease the burden” of Obamacare by giving states “more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

However, Trump supported the recent bill, stating that he was “100 percent” behind it and blaming the Republican Freedom Caucus for its failure. He has since said that when Obamacare “explodes,” a new healthcare plan will be put in place.

On Wednesday evening, Paul Ryan was seen entering the White House to discuss redrafting the bill, which was called the American Health Care Act. One of the key issues of contention surrounding a redraft are regulations imposed on insurance companies, which opponents say are driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone, besides those with pre-existing conditions.

The failure to secure a deal on health care has left both Trump’s and Republicans’s approval ratings at record lows just months into a new administration. With a crowded agenda of tax reform, immigration enforcement, as well as preventing a potential government shutdown, Republicans must prioritize securing a good healthcare deal if they are to hold onto both their House and Senate majorities. 

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