House Republican leaders said on Tuesday they still intended to repeal and replace Obamacare after their White House-backed bill failed to get enough support and collapsed last week.
“The fact that our conference is more resolved than ever to repeal this law is very encouraging and we’re not going to stop until we get it done,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after a closed-door meeting.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters he would not give a timeline on any new attempt to pass health care legislation “because we want to get it right.”
Unveiled on March 6, theAmerican Health Care Act, dubbed GOPcare, outlined major changes to Obamacare, specifically repealing mandatory coverage and stripping funding from Planned Parenthood.
The AHCA failed to produce enough support among Republican leadership. Some of its opponents derided the plan for being ‘Obamacare lite,’ not conservative enough. Others, like New York City’s only Republican congressman, Dan Donovan, voted ‘no’ to protect their constituents.
Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan did away with a regulation that restricted how much insurers could charge their oldest subscribers; if that provision passed, insurance companies could charge older people as much as they want under GOPcare.
Donovan cited the bill’s impact on seniors in his district as a big reason for voting against it, and ultimately, against his party.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he voted against the replacement bill because he wanted to keep his promise to Americans.
“I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people and standing up against Obamacare Lite,”Paul said in a statement after the vote. “I look forward to passing a full repeal of Obamacare in the very near future.”
Reuters contributed to this report.