GOP leaders blamed the president’s failure to address the crisis in Obamacare on a lack of political will by congressional Democrats, saying it led to the shutdown and an election-year election year.
In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Republican leadership wrote that the president was ineffectual and that Republicans had made “too little progress in addressing the crisis” in the health care law.
In the letter, the Republicans blamed President Obama’s failure in December to take a public stand on the health law’s flaws and urged him to “do more” to address them.
The House GOP letter, obtained by The Hill, said the administration failed to take action during the crisis over Obamacare’s coverage expansions and failed to push through a plan that would allow people with preexisting conditions to stay on their existing health plans.
The Republicans, who are seeking re-election in 2018, said they had “been disappointed and disappointed” by the president and his failure to take concrete action on the Affordable Care Act.
“Our leaders were too quick to blame the failure of the ACA on the president,” the letter said.
“They failed to see the devastating effects of Obamacare on the American people.
The Republican Party is the party of hope and progress, and it is not willing to let its ideals be put on hold in an election year.”
A senior House Republican aide told The Hill that they were disappointed by the GOP leaders letter, but that they believed the Republican Party could do better.
The aide did not elaborate on what the GOP could do to improve the president, but pointed to the president issuing a series of executive orders and actions on healthcare in his first months in office, as well as the president working with Republican congressional leaders to improve coverage.
The letter said that the Republicans would push for additional actions from the president on the crisis, including the establishment of a commission to investigate and fix the problems.
A spokesperson for the White House declined to comment on the letter.
But the letter from the House GOP was one of several recent signs that Republicans are feeling the impact of the crisis and the election year that comes with it.
In February, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, the party’s most senior leader, told a town hall audience that Republicans could “do better.”
In an interview with ABC News, she said she believes that “there’s more than a lack in leadership” in Congress.
On March 15, the GOP released a joint resolution with Democratic lawmakers to push for a health care fix.
The measure calls for the passage of legislation that “provides relief to the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance or who are being forced to leave their existing plans, and creates a public option that would let them purchase private health insurance at no cost to them.”
But that plan was not supported by all Republicans.
On April 14, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the most senior Republican in the Senate, called the Senate’s health care proposal “a huge failure,” and said Republicans needed to work with Democrats to solve the crisis.
“I don’t want to say we are done.
I want to just say we’re not finished,” McCain said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.””
But we need to do it and we need it fast.”
McCain said Democrats were “not going to get it done in a bipartisan way,” adding, “I hope that by the time the year is done we can pass a bipartisan solution that will fix this.”
McCains Democratic counterpart, Sen, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, told the Associated Press that Republicans were “in a very tough spot” and were going to have to take “a lot of tough votes” if they were to pass a bill.
Democrats also have a big health care push ahead of them this year.
In a conference call with reporters last week, President Joe Biden told the assembled reporters that Republicans “cannot have it both ways” on healthcare reform.
“You know, the idea of a single-payer, universal health care system is not on the table for me,” Biden said.
He also said Republicans would “absolutely” support a single payer system in the coming year.