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Democrat Won't 'Be Nice' To Republican Over Health Care

A Democratic congressman clashed with a Republican in a heated exchange March 24 during a debate in the House over the American Health Care Act, the GOP's plan to do away with the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare."

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida questioned Republican Rep. Greg Walden about the contents of the bill, the Huffington Post reported.

"Tell me about the $800 billion that's being taken out of Medicaid," Hastings said, the Post reported. "When, in fact, all we had to do was leave the taxes that are here for very wealthy people."

The bill would remove an estimated $880 billion from the Medicaid program.

"Do you not see how that affects Medicaid?" Hatch added.

Hastings also mentioned 400 wealthy households who would receive a tax break if the bill became law.

"Okay, I'm going to try to bring the tone down here," Walden said in response.

But this did not impress Hastings.

"I'm not going to bring my tone down," he said. "I'm mad as hell about what you all are doing and I don't have to be nice to nobody when you're being nasty to poor people."

The Republicans subsequently withdrew the bill before it could come to a full vote in the House, fearing that they could not muster enough votes to secure its passage.

It was expected that all Democrats would have voted against the bill. They argued it would negatively impact millions of people, referring to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office which suggested that 24 million Americans would lose health care access.

"We were very close," President Donald Trump said, referring to the number of supporters the bill had, according to Reuters. "The best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode."

Trump, who made the repeal of Obamacare a key campaign promise, suggested that Democrats would be willing to negotiate health care reform in the future.

"There’s nobody that objectively can look at this effort and say the president didn’t do every single thing he possibly could with this team to get every vote possible," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was one of the bill's most outspoken advocates, said that pulling the legislation was a "setback, no two ways about it."

"I wish we had the consensus we needed to bring a bill to the floor to replace it," added Ryan. "We needed 216 people. We were close. But we didn't have 216 people."

Ryan went on to note that Obamacare would remain in force and stated, "we are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."

The Republicans will now move on to focus on tax reform.

Sources: Huffington Post, Reuters via Global News / Photo credit: Cliff/Flickr

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