- - Friday, March 24, 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says the nation will be “living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

“Obamacare is the law of the land, it’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced. We did not have quite the votes to replace this law,” Mr. Ryan said, calling the failure a wake-up moment for Republicans who have been fractious for years, and who now must decide whether there are any issued they can reach agreement.

The failure of the bill is also the first major legislative stumble for President Trump, who put his vaunted negotiating powers to use trying to sway holdouts. Republican lawmakers said he made a “gallant” effort, and said the blame doesn’t lie with the White House.

Mr. Ryan said there are no immediate plans to try again on repeal, meaning Republicans will allow Obamacare to play out.

He said they expect the bill to hit the dreaded “death spiral” of fewer customers and soaring costs — though the latest analysis by the Congressional Budget Office says that’s unlikely.

Mr. Ryan said the Obamacare failure makes tax reform, the issue most Republicans expect to turn to next, “more difficult” because there’s less fiscal room to operate on.

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