WASHINGTON ― Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), head of the House Freedom Caucus, said Sunday that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is not over. Meadows’ statement comes after President Donald Trump said he is moving on from the failed legislation to try to pass tax reform.
“This is not the end of the debate,” Meadows said on ABC’s “This Week.”
On Friday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled legislation backed by the White House that would have repealed the signature health care reform bill signed by President Barack Obama and replaced it with one that would have caused 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance. Opposition from the House Freedom Caucus was instrumental in the bill’s defeat.
Trump tweeted Sunday morning that the Freedom Caucus was to blame for keeping both the Obamacare and Planned Parenthood alive, as the bill would have cut federal funding for the family health provider.
“If [Democrats are] applauding, they shouldn’t,” Meadows said in response to Trump’s tweet, adding that the president will wind up being “the most valuable player … on this.”
He continued with the clunky sports metaphors, saying that the bill failing on Friday was comparable to the New England Patriots losing to the Atlanta Falcons at halftime of the Super Bowl before staging an unprecedented second-half comeback. Meadows also said the legislative effort was in overtime.
“We’re not at the end of the game,” he said. “We’re there, literally, perhaps, again, in overtime, but we’re there to get this across the finish line.”