At the latest off-camera press briefing Tuesday, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made clear the official White House position on who is to blame for the Republican failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act: the Democrats.
Two proposals for a plan that would replace the law with new legislation failed over the two weeks, and a third plan to repeal the law without replacing it floundered Tuesday after three senators announced they would not support it.
In the briefing, Sanders said Democrats have been “unwilling to work with Republicans in any capacity to help fix” the ACA.
deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blames Democrats for "the mess that we’re in." https://t.co/AH1WRVDaX4— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) July 18, 2017
Although 13 Republicans wrote the bill behind closed doors, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the effort to repeal Obamacare would “have to be a Republicans-only exercise," Sanders claimed that Democrats have “been the ones that have been completely unwilling to even come to the table to be part of the discussion.”
She also noted that since Democrats are responsible for passing the ACA in 2010, "they are responsible for the mess we're in."
While Americans on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged improvements that could be made to the ACA, the National Center for Health Statistics has found that since the law passed, nearly 20 million Americans who were previously uninsured have been able to purchase health insurance through state marketplaces. The law has also become more popular in recent months as Republicans have threatened to repeal it.