GOP leaders pull health care bill

The Trump administration will move forward on other priorities after health care bill failed to garner enough support.
10:33 | 03/25/17

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Transcript for GOP leaders pull health care bill
President Donald Trump waking up to a blizzard of unbless apartment headlines this morning. Trump and Ryan meet defeat. Divided GOP drops health bill. There's this one, fiasco and finally, is there a doctor in the house? That's a tough crowd this morning, isn't it? The associated press calling the failure of the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, quote, an epic damaging self-inflicted collapse, end quote. President trump who has built his reputation as a deal maker came up short this time. He and leaders in the house decided to pull the bill at the last minute when it became very clear that they did not have the votes. Their inability to deliver on what was a key campaign promise raises all sorts of questions about what trump and the Republicans in congress will be able to achieve going forward. Team coverage and kick it off with ABC's Mary Bruce covering all of the action for us on capitol hill. Mary, good morning. Reporter: Good morning. Well, for seven years Republicans have promised to get rid of Obamacare, but this morning that chapter appears to be closing. Republican leaders and the president delivered their first major legislative defeat at the hands of their own party. I will not sugar coat this. This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard. Reporter: It was a stunning admission, just moments before the house was expected to vote, the speaker announcing Obamacare is here to stay. Obamacare is the law of the land. It's going to remain the law of the land until it's replaced. Reporter: Paul Ryan conceding he does not have the votes to get it done. We came really close today, but we came up short. Reporter: The speaker and the president pulling the bill after a frantic push to make a deal falls short. By midmorning Friday, it was clear, conservative opponents were standing their ground. There are no negotiations. Reporter: It's done. Not going to pass. Yeah, so the only thing going on now is basically arm twitting. Reporter: Meanwhile, at the white house the negotiator in chief who demanded they hold the vote now seeming not so sure. See what happens. Did you rush it, do you think? See what happens. Reporter: On the house floor the debate on the bill well under way. Democrats railing against the Republican plan. Health care is a right. It is not a privilege reserved for a wealthy few. Reporter: As the hours pass, it's clear the votes aren't there. The house speaker traveling to the white house to break the news to president trump. But the white house press secretary still optimistic. Leader and the whip are doing their vote counts. The debate is ongoing. We'll continue -- we are proceeding with a 3:30 vote as scheduled. Reporter: But it was not to be. Back on the hill at 3:31 P.M. As the vote was expected to begin the announcement. Further consideration of hr-1628 is postponed. The chair declares the house in recess, subject to the call of the chair. Reporter: The speaker canceling the vote. That is the growing pains of governing. We were a ten-year opposition party, we're being against things was easy to do. You just had to be against it and now in three months' time we try to go to a governing party. Reporter: But Democrats declaring it a victory for the American people. Let's just for a moment breathe a sigh of relief for the American people. Reporter: Now no word yet from former president Obama but Joe Biden he can choed every American worried about getting health care when they get sick can breathe that sigh of relief. So, Mary, everybody is asking what is next. Are we just going to close the chapter on health care reform and then move on to the next bit of legislation? What's next? Reporter: Yeah, for now Obamacare appears to be here to stay. Republicans say they're moving on to their next priorities but this defeat exposes serious divisions within the Republican party and raises doubts about whether they can deliver on the rest of their agenda. Thank you. She's been a busy woman on capitol hill. Thanks for your reporting, Mary. Great job. The president is trying to put the best spin possible on this defeat saying Obamacare will, quote, explode on its own but for now he appears ready to move on to another top legislative priority as we said tax reform. ABC's David Wright is at the white house this morning. David, good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, Dan. Just like that, the white house is moving on. The president's first big piece of legislation has now gone down in flames. And rather than try to fashion a compromise, he's walking away blaming the Democrats. I'm disappointed because we could have had it. So I'm disappointed. I'm a little surprised to be honest with you. Reporter: In the oval office, right after the speaker's announce many, president trump tried to spin this as a defeat for his opponents. I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare. They own it. Reporter: Insisting the future will prove him right. The best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode. Reporter: But just last week, trump said that leaving the affordable care act in place would be irresponsible. It's the wrong thing to do for the country. It's the wrong thing to do for our citizens. Reporter: On Friday, trump insisted he hasn't broken any promises. I never said repeal and replace Obamacare. You've all heard my speeches. I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days. I have a long time. Reporter: But throughout the campaign -- We're going to repeal and replace that horror show called Obamacare. Reporter: And the transition. That is why we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. We have no choice. Reporter: He promised to fix health care on day one. We will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. You'll see rates go down, down, down and you'll see plans go up, up, up. You'll have a lot of choys. Reporter: Instead, it's back to plan "O." I think we have to let Obamacare go its way for a little while and we'll see how things go. Aid he love to see it do well but it can't. Reporter: With health care reform off the table for now, trump is now turning his attention to tax reform. Overnight Hillary Clinton called this a victory for all Americans. She tweeted out the stories of people who have been helped by Obamacare and urged her reporters to stay focused tweeting let's not be distracted. Let's continue to stand up, organize, resist. Dan. Yeah, Democrats claiming victory. David, thanks for your reporting. There's so much political news to chew on, joining us right now Tara setmayer. She is on set with us and also in Washington we have political contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson or ksa as Dan likes to refer to. You were on capitol hill during the vote. Trump sold himself as the negotiator in chief, as the dealmaker. How big of a setback is this for him? Well, it is certainly a setback. He as we saw in the package leading up to this, he bragged about that it would get repealed and replaced day one immediately. He sold the American people on the idea that he would be able to get this done. And it's a heavy lift. Trying to repeal something as large as Obamacare which is basically one-fifth of our economy is not something you can do overnight, which I think was the folly of the GOP controlled congress thinking that they would be able to do something like this in 64 days. They did not spend the time and invest the effort into messaging it into the American people to sell this bill. However, you felt about it, I personally felt there were significant flaws in this bill and they could do better, but the Democrats spent a year, Barack Obama was out on the trail for almost a year selling the affordable care act to the American people which turned out to be not quite true with you can keep your doctor, can you keep your plan but they sold it so you did to the see that same level of buy-in with the Republican plan and I don't think Donald Trump was really completely committed to this despite what the public face on this really is. Tax reform is something you can see he's more invested in. I don't think he really wanted to get into the details of health care. Got you. Kristen, let's bring you in, the question is what's next? We're talking about tax reform. He has an ambitious legislative agenda that includes infrastructure. This is a big stinking defeat. What does it say about his ability to work with Republicans getting more done going forward? It shows governing is a lot harder than he probably imagined. And it shows that the house Republican conference is a lot more diverse. Has a lot more varied interests than perhaps Donald Trump was ready for. If there are any two things that you would think almost all Republicans would agree on, it's repeal and replace Obamacare and let's reform the tax code. And so with the first sort of going down in flames yesterday, it's a question of the second will work. It's also important to think about how these were sequenced. Part of the reason why Republicans wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare first is because it would save the government a little money, meaning when they go to change the tax code, they can cut taxes a little further. Now with Obamacare still in place, that changes how much they can do on tax reform. Kristen, will et me ask you too, Americans are justifiably concerned about health care in general. Trump maintains Democrats are eventually going to come to him when Obamacare explodes according to him. So, what right now is the future of health care? I think right now the future of health care is Obamacare. It's the law of the land. The law that was passed back in 2010 is what we've got and so I think there will be a moment when voters begin to say, look, in my state the health insurance exchange only has one plan. I don't actually have choice. We want congress to do something. That's when the pressure will mount for congress to take action again. You see that happening, Tara? Yeah, absolutely right about that. As much as we want to see -- try to prevent what's coming down the pike with Obamacare because it's only going to get worse, Democrats know that for sure, they've actually dodged a bullet somewhat for right now. But the rubber will meet the road by the end of this year and I think there will be -- the political climate for the electorate will be a little bit more malleable in selling an Obamacare fix or replace than they are right now. Because like I said, the GOP Paul Ryan, even Donald Trump, they didn't do a great job of selling why this was so important right now, so health care is very personal and very complicated but when people start to really feel it en masse more so than now I think you'll see a political climate more open to radical changes. Tara setmayer, Kristen Soltis Anderson, we appreciate your input on this Saturday morning. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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