After seven long years of booing and hissing about the Affordable Care Act — SEVEN YEARS, PEOPLE — Republicans finally got their chance to scrap President Obama’s signature health care law.
Annnnnnd they didn’t.
In what would be an unimaginable plot twist if Donald Trump weren’t president, the so-called Freedom Caucus — roughly 30 of the GOP’s most hardline conservatives — effectively struck down the Trump-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump pulled the plug and spared his party a doomed, embarrassing vote.
Yes, that happened.
But hold up, healthcare fans — Freedom Caucus members didn’t stand up to Donald Trump out of the kindness of their hearts. Rather, they felt Trump’s American Health Care Act (which is really Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act) didn’t go far enough to take healthcare away.
It’s true. The hardline group led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows (R) wanted Trump to repeal the 10 essential health benefits required by Obamacare. These essential benefits include things such as maternity care, emergency services, prescription drugs and hospital stays.
You know, little things that can bankrupt folks.
Trump actually caved and agreed to let states decide on these requirements — breaking several campaign promises in the process — but the Freedom Caucus still wasn’t satisfied. They demanded an all-out repeal, rather than a “repeal and replace” strategy. Meanwhile, Trump’s massive concessions for hardliners were big turnoffs for moderates, costing his bill even more votes.
The end result is that Obamacare survived. Meanwhile, the Republican Party appears to have a Civil War on its hands. Trump did all he could to repeal and replace Obamacare, but he couldn’t get the ACA’s most vocal opponents on board.
Nobody knew being president could be so complicated!