Post-Healthcare Defeat, Trump Blames Democrats, Bera Calls for Unified Effort

Oval Office in the White House

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Washington, DC – President Donald Trump faced his first embarrassing defeat within his first 100 days in office as the Republicans had to withdraw a vote on the Affordable Care Act Repeal Bill. This was the second time it had to be cancelled due to lack of support from Republican ranks.

After the House majority Republicans cancelled the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), Trump spoke to journalists in the Oval Office of the White House. The President was flanked by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and Vice President Mike Pence.

“We were very very close. It was a very tight margin. We had no Democratic support,” the President said in his opening statement. “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It’s exploding right now.”

He mentioned Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky specifically as states which are experiencing a rise in premiums.

“We couldn’t quite get there, we were a small number of votes short,” Trump said. “There are many people who don’t realize how good our bill was.” He said the people don’t realize how good the bill was because they didn’t realize there were two legislative phases to go.

“If [Democrats] got together with us, and got us a real health care bill, I’d be totally okay with that. The losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because they own Obamacare. They 100% own it,” Trump said. “They have Obamacare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future.

“When they all become civilized and get together, and try to work out a great health care bill for the people of this country, we’re open to it,” Trump said. “I want to thank the Republican Party. I want to thank Paul Ryan — he worked very, very hard. I can tell you that.”

“I worked as a team player and would’ve loved to see this pass, but again, I think you know I was very clear — there wasn’t a speech I made, very few — where I didn’t say that the best thing that could happen is the thing that happened today,” Trump said. “We will have a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess known as Obamacare explodes.”

“This was an interesting period of time. We all learned a lot. We learned a lot about loyalty and we learned a lot about the vote getting process. And we learned about very arcane rules in both the Senate and the House,” Trump said. “Certainly for me it was a very interesting experience, but for me, it’ll be an experience that leads to an even better health care plan.”

Earlier, Indian American Congressman Ami Bera from California said in a statement, “This bill would have kicked millions of hardworking Americans off of their health care, raised the cost of coverage for families, and imposed an age tax on our parents and grandparents.”

Bera, who is one of just two Democratic doctors in Congress expressed hope that, “after cancelling this vote, the Speaker and the majority will hear loud and clear that playing politics with peoples’ health care is not going to work.”

Calling bipartisan efforts to address the crucial subject of healthcare, Bera said, “Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to come together, because the job isn’t over until every American has affordable and accessible healthcare. Real lives are at stake here and I’m ready to get to work.”

Bera practiced internal medicine, taught at the UC Davis school of medicine, and served Sacramento County as Chief Medical Officer before being elected to Congress. Bera estimated that more than 100,000 hardworking Americans in Sacramento County would have lost their health care under the proposed legislation.

Echoing Bera’s sentiments, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement, “If President Trump wants to uphold his repeated pledges to ensure that everyone is covered and no one loses their coverage, Republicans must work with their Democratic colleagues to find a bipartisan approach that actually does that.”

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