After a week of scrambling, House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump reportedly failed to secure enough votes to pass their long-promised repeal and replacement of the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act. Friday afternoon, the House pulled the bill, reports Politico.
The move came after Trump demanded the Friday vote, cutting off negotiations with House Republicans, saying they should either pass the bill or keep the ACA.
Many Christians have vocally opposed the Republican plan, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates would cause 14 million people to lose health insurance just within the first year. Pointing to Matthew 25, some Christians pointed out that the Republican plan directly affects those most in need: the poor and the sick.
Some House members also pointed to the moral implications of approving the plan, which after negotiations targeted the "essential health benefits" included in the ACA that covered thing like pregnancy and newborn care, as well as pediatric care, mental health services, and emergency room trips. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a breast cancer survivor, called the bill "an immoral piece of legislation" that would gut medical coverage and patient protections. And Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) closed out his remarks by quoting from the Gospel of Matthew: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
The House and Senate had hoped to deliver a new healthcare bill to Trump by April 8, when Congress is scheduled to begin a two-week spring break.
Earlier in the day, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who supported the bill said, "If it doesn't pass, this issue is dead. This is the one shot."
Reuters reporting contributed to this story.