After months of political jockeying, presidential grandstanding, and raucous town hall-ing, the American Health Care Act, the Donald Trump-backed replacement for the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, was unceremoniously pulled from a scheduled vote on Friday after it became clear it would be rejected by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
President Trump himself announced the decision to yank the bill in an extraordinary live-tweeted conversation with Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.
Speaker Paul Ryan later confirmed that the bill was dead. "Obamacare is the law of the land," he said. He chalked the failed effort up to "growing pains" in his caucus.
The botched vote, originally scheduled to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the passage of Obamacare, followed a difficult week for Republicans working to tweak the measure in response to intense criticism from both the left and the right. A number of high profile GOP congressmen announced their opposition to the bill, which would dramatically roll back health care options for many of those enrolled in the Obamacare marketplace, including people covered by the ACA's Medicaid expansion. The biggest opposition came from the hard-right members of the House Freedom Caucus, who refused to budge from their contention that, even though it contained deep cuts to insurance, the bill remained too generous.