"Doing big things is hard," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said on Friday after a vote on the GOP health care plan was abruptly canceled, a lesson President Donald Trump — who made a new health care law his first legislative priority — has perhaps now learned.
Last year, though, the president seemed confident that repealing and replacing Obamacare would be a fairly simple task.
The decision to cancel a House vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Friday represents a significant loss for Trump, who made health care reform his administration's top priority. The president touted his deal-making skills in the lead-up to the vote, telling reporters he expected the bill to pass in spite of mounting Republican opposition.
The bill was pulled due to a lack of Republican support just minutes before it was expected to be put to a vote. Though the Trump administration has attempted to distance the president from the legislation itself, its abrupt cancelation doesn't reflect well on Trump's leadership.
His 1987 book, "Art of the Deal," started trending on Twitter shortly after the House broke for recess.
Trump did try to negotiate with conservative and moderate Republicans who had expressed opposition to the AHCA, holding closed-door meetings with the lawmakers and threatening dissenters with political repercussions. A series of last-minute amendments to the bill were even introduced in an attempt to win over members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
In light of today's setback, former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain in place "for the foreseeable future," Ryan said at a press conference on Friday. The president, meanwhile, said he would be "open" to health care reform again "if Obamacare now implodes." He also blamed House Democrats for the bill's cancelation.