- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rep. Jim Jordan said Sunday that he and fellow House conservatives may have done America “a favor” by derailing the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Mr. Jordan, a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, insisted that his group had remained true to its values in bucking the bill supported by President Trump

“Maybe, by the fact we opposed it, we did the country a favor because this bill didn’t repeal Obamacare,” the Ohio Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This bill didn’t do what we told the American people we were going to do.”

The failure of the health care bill, which was pulled Friday before a scheduled vote in which it would have been defeated due to opposition from Mr. Jordan and other Republican lawmakers, delivered a major blow to Mr. Trump and his agenda.

Mr. Trump worked tirelessly to negotiate a deal with conservatives. He agreed to last-minute changes that removed many of the “essential benefits” that mandated minimum coverage for all health policies. That change imperiled support by GOP moderates.

The bill also contained several priorities for conservatives, including undertaking Medicaid reforms, eliminating individual and employer mandates, and ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

In a tweet Sunday morning, Mr. Trump blamed opposition from the Freedom Caucus and outside conservative groups such as Club for Growth for handing a huge victory to Democrats.

Mr. Jordan blamed Mr. Trump for not coming up with legislation that satisfied everyone.

“It didn’t unite our party,” he said.

Mr. Jordan said the bill was widely unpopular with Republicans, including moderates in the House and Senate, and polls showed it was supported by just 17 percent of Americans.

Capitol Hill Democrats formed a united front against the effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment.

“Instead of doing the blame game, let’s get to work. Let’s do the responsible thing. Let’s get back to work and do what we told the voters we were going to do,” Mr. Jordan said.

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