Pictured are former United States President Barack Obama (wearing blue tie), Ohio 9th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (wearing red-brown hair and blue suit), Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge ( wearing Afro and blue-green suit), U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (wearing dark brown hair, beads and a light-blue suit), Georgia Congressman John Lewis (wearing red tie), and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper (wearing blue suit and blue tie)
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CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-WASHINGTON, D.C.- A vote on a bill that would have scrapped Obamacare, former president Barack Obama's signature universal healthcare initiative that is officially known as the Affordable Care Act, was pulled from consideration on Friday as the controversial measure pushed by President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and a cadre of congressional Republicans was headed for failure had it gone before the U.S. House of Representatives as planned.
The House GOP bill at issue, a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare that is laced with tax credits and other accommodations for the nation's most wealthiest people, has essentially been pulled, a stunning defeat for President Trump and congressional Republicans, and a possible end to their contentious seven-year health care battle.
For now, and maybe forever, the most reputable policy agenda of the nation's first Black president, which provides health insurance for more that 20 million Americans, Black and poor people included, has survived.
The Republican defeat comes a day before the bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act of 2017, was delayed on Thursday due to a lack of support, and two days after the 7th anniversary on the Affordable Care Act, a federal law adopted by congress and signed into law in 2010.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former vice president Joe Biden led a rally on March 22 outside of the capital in Washington D.C. to cerebrate the 7th anniversary of Obamacare.
It obviously helped.
A Democrat, Pelosi was jubilant on Friday, and called the bill's defeat "a victory for the American people."
Not one House Democrat was on board in support of the bill.
Led by the NAACP, Civil Rights organizations and Black leaders across the country panned any repeal, saying Obamacare is a health care savior to the Black community and poor and elderly people, and women and children that lacked accessibility until Obama rescued them
"I oppose this bill with every breath in my body," said longtime Congressman John Lewis in speaking Friday on the House floor before the planned vote that later went haywire for Republicans.
A federal lawmaker representing Georgia who is Black and marched with the late Civil Rights icon the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis said "We must not give up. We can do better. Vote no on this bill."
Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Cleveland Democrat whose largely Black congressional district includes parts of the majority Black major metropolitan city of Cleveland, called the bill a sham that benefits the wealthy and the healthy and undermines the sick and the poor.
"For all of the rhetoric about freedom and choices this bill sends a clear message to every American as to where the priorities of the Republicans lie," said Fudge, who spoke along with Lewis and a host of other congressional Democrats, also Friday on the House floor. "Tax breaks to the wealthy have been more valuable than life saving care."
9th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Toledo Democrat whose congressional district extends to Cleveland, did not mesh words either in delivering her healthcare speech to fellow House members.
"This bill was always a giant tax cut for the rich," said Kaptur on the House floor and in a press release Friday afternoon to Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper. "Its defeat is a great victory for the American people and the 900,000 Ohioans who now have insurance under the Affordable Care Act."
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper was brutal in his response to the win by Democrats.
"Ohioans will remember who stood with them in opposing this disastrous proposal and will remember the congressmen like Pat Tieri and Jim Renacci, who voted for Trumpcare, which would have endangered coverage for 24 million Americans, raised premiums for seniors, slashed Medicaid by $850 million and given a huge tax break to millionaires and insurance company CEO's," said Pepper in a press release to Cleveland Urban News.Com
It is the second major loss for Trump since taking office in January, and follows two appeals court rejections of his first and second executive orders for anti-Muslin travel bans, the president saying he will not re-visit the health care issue this 115th Congress.
Political pundits called it "the president's worst day on Capital Hill."
During a televised rally last week in Louisville, Kentucky Trump lambasted Obamacare.
But that was not enough to derail Friday's Republican setback.
Acknowledging defeat, Trump said during a televised press briefing that Pelosi and the Democrats must now own Obamacare and that Republicans should simply wait and "let Obamacare explode."
Though it was widely speculated that since the Republicans control both chambers of congress and now the White House via Trump's
defeat in November of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the bill would pass, it did not.
Ryan, who succeeded former Republican House leader John Boehner of Ohio, who quit congress amid a fallout with ultra conservative members of his party, including Ryan, the impetus behind pulling the bill, conceded just hours before the slated vote that the bill simply "would not pass."
Ryan tried to put a good face on his ignominious defeat at a Friday press conference, and said that he initiated pulling the bill.
"This is a disappointing day for us," the House Speaker said.
But Ryan bragged that the bill has merit, saying, "I'm really proud of the bill we produced."
This, in spite of a lack of support for the bill within his own party.
Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, during a rambling press briefing earlier today, told reporters that the president did all he could do in seeking support of the bill and that "the current Obamacare system will collapse on its own."
House Republicans had argued that health care premiums are too high, the federal government has too much say, and Obamacare is simply a disaster, arguments, among many, that simply did not garner enough support to bring the bill to fruition.
The stickler's in the bill were numerous, Democrats opposing it outright, and some Republican congressional leaders picking it a part, a large many of them saying attacking Medicaid would hurt their constituents.
Other Republican foes of the bill were angry that the bill did not eliminate key health care benefits of the Affordable Care Act they want gone, including birth control amenities, healthcare regardless of preexisting medical diagnoses and children having access to stay on their parents' healthcare insurance until the age of 26, the latTer two provisions of which Trump supports.
Public opinion also played a crucial part.
Some in favor of Obamacare, led by Organizing for Action (OFA) with its 250 chapters nationwide, rallied on a weekly basis against Trumpcare, the unofficial name of the lifeless bill.
In Cleveland, OFA, a non-partisan Democratic leaning organization, regularly picketed the Cleveland district office of Republican U.S. Sen Rob Portman, dubbing the protests "lunch with Rob.".
And grassroots activists and women's rights advocates took to the streets, addressing Obamacare at various protests and rallies, including International Women" s Day March Cleveland, a 15-speaker 400-person rally and march led by Cleveland activist Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the grassroots group the Imperial Women Coalition and edits Cleveland Urban News.Com and the Kathy Wray Coleman On;line News Blog.Com.