Republicans in Congress said almost from the moment the Affordable Care Act was signed into law that repealing and replacing it was one of their top priorities. Seven years later, now in control of the House, Senate and White House, their first attempt at repealing what’s known as Obamacare has failed.
The decision by House Republicans not to bring their overhaul bill up for a vote today got mixed reaction from Colorado’s delegation.
Republican Rep. Mike Coffman was the bill’s strongest Colorado supporter. In a statement he acknowledged differences of opinion within his caucus, but warned that, “History will judge the party harshly if we don’t keep our word to repeal and replace the Obamacare disaster.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn, the Republican who represents El Paso County, told the Denver Post his party needs to regroup. He had praised parts of the failed bill, but had not committed publicly to vote for it.
Colorado’s Democratic representatives celebrated the bill’s defeat.
“Power to the people! Today is about each and every person in my district who spoke up and said, ‘Not my health care, not today.’ Health care policy is high stakes,” said Rep. Jared Polis. “It’s life or death for many, and I am so very happy that political games didn’t win out over the health and wellbeing of Americans."
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, said it was a "good day" for those who would have lost coverage under the Republican plan.
'Republicans have spent the last seven years criticizing and undermining the ACA, and now it is time for the White House and Congressional leadership to come to the table and work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act,” Perlmutter's statement said.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, quoted author Margaret Mead's famous words about activism in a video posted to her Facebook page.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. And it's because of you that Republicans had to pull their poorly thought out Trumpcare bill today," DeGette said. "Now we need to move forward."