US President Donald Trump on Sunday blamed Republican lawmakers from the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus for the failure of a Republican healthcare plan to replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, after blaming Democrats for the loss on Friday.
“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” EFE news quoted Trump as saying in a tweet.
The Republican leadership pulled the legislation to repeal and replace Obama’s healthcare reform, popularly known as Obamacare, from the US House of Representatives on Friday due to the lack of support within the GOP.
The healthcare bill failed to move forward, in part, because of objections of about 30 lawmakers with the Freedom Caucus.
A total of 216 votes were needed to approve the legislation, but the Freedom Caucus opposed the bill because they wanted fewer regulations in it and for people to be able to select what medical care they wanted covered in their healthcare insurance plans.
Caucus leader Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the bill’s failure was not the end of the discussion of healthcare reform.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office after the withdrawal of the bill on Friday, Trump had sought to deflect blame onto the Democrats.
“We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats,” he said. “I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare.”
Obamacare, a law designed to increase the quality of health insurance and make it accessible to citizens with low incomes, has provided medical coverage to more than 20 million people who did not have it before.
Many, if not all of those people would have lost their healthcare coverage under the now-shelved Republican plan.