US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Donald Trump’s presidency is plagued by “incompetence and broken promises” after Republican leaders in a Congress controlled by his own party withdrew legislation to overhaul the US healthcare system.
Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives on Friday pulled the American Health Care Act, also known as TrumpCare, after a rebellion by Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left them lacking enough votes to pass the bill.
The collapse of the bill was a stunning political setback for Trump and ensured that the president’s first major legislative initiative since entering the White House on January 20 ended in failure. Democrats were unified against the Republican healthcare reform measure.
The bill, which was originally scheduled for a vote on Thursday, was postponed to Friday amid signs that the replacement legislation to eliminate former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement – the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare – was in deep trouble.
“The Trumpcare bill failed because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency since he took office: incompetence and broken promises,” Schumer, a Democrat from the state of New York, told reporters Friday.
“So much for The Art of the Deal,” Schumer said, poking fun at Trump’s famous 1987 book, which is part memoir and part business-advice. “In my life, I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House today,” the top Democrat said. “I have not seen a president break as many promises to working people as this president has done in just over two months.”
“They can’t write policy that actually makes sense, they can’t implement the policies they do manage to write, they can’t get their stories straight, and today we’ve learned that they can’t close a deal, and they can’t count votes,” he added.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference that the bill’s collapse is “a victory for the American people.” Trump sought to shift the blame to the Democrats even though his party controls the White House, the Senate and the House. He said the real “losers” were Schumer and Pelosi.
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday shows that nearly half of American adults believe the Republican healthcare reform measure is “not an improvement” over Obamacare. Supporters of Obamacare rallied on Thursday across the United States to protest Republican-led efforts to repeal the 2010 healthcare law.
Healthcare experts from across the political spectrum say Trumpcare was unworkable and had fatal flaws that could lead to over 20 million Americans losing healthcare insurance. Experts agree that the bill fails to reach the objectives laid forth by Trump, which includes affordable coverage for everyone; lower deductibles and healthcare costs and better care.