Obamacare repeal thwarted again as Mike Pence fails to reach deal | US news


Less than two weeks after a stone-faced Paul Ryan admitted defeat and declared the Affordable Care Act the “law of the land” for the “foreseeable future”, his ill-fated healthcare plan began to show sparks of life.

Hopes of reviving the Republicans’ failed healthcare plan surged briefly on Tuesday when the vice-president, Mike Pence, came to Capitol Hill in an attempt to forge a new compromise that could somehow pass the House of Representatives.

But the late night talks between Pence and members of competing factions of the House Republican caucus stalled and no deal was reached. A hoped-for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, returned to the grave and recriminations began anew on Capitol Hill.

Chris Collins, a moderate Trump ally from New York, said resignedly that the ball was in the court of the Freedom Caucus, a coalition of arch-conservative legislators who didn’t support the initial Republican healthcare proposal. “We built them a bridge,” said Collins. “All they have to do is walk across.” He added, simply: “The problem is with the Freedom Caucus.”

To Collins, this faction within the House GOP had been not been straightforward in negotiating over healthcare in recent days. “Indications … were on Monday that they wanted to get to yes,” said Collins. “Actions speak louder than words and over the past few days, actions would indicate that those words would not have been sincere.”

In his opinion, the Freedom Caucus kept on “moving the goal posts”.

Conservatives returned fire. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a member of the Freedom Caucus, noted that House Republicans had voted to totally replace the ACA in 2015 and reluctance to do anything less than…

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