Almost two weeks after leaving Washington, D.C. on an Easter break without taking action on health care, the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law began rumbling again on Wednesday, both from the White House and Congress, as Republicans gave hints that they were narrowing differences on a health overhaul measure.
“We’re very close,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan during a speech in London, as he said the GOP health care plan “is not dead – we’re still working on it.”
Ryan noted that Republicans and President Trump had both run in the 2016 elections on the promise to repeal and replace the Obama health law.
“We now owe it to deliver those results,” Ryan said.
There were also hints down at the White House that the President wants to see the GOP make another run at an internal deal on a health care bill in the House before the end of the month, as he approaches his 100th day in office.
The first try in late March ran aground before the plan could even be voted on in the full House; another effort to bridge the gap came up short earlier this month, before lawmakers left on an extended Easter break.
But on Capitol Hill, there was no indication that Republican lawmakers had suddenly found a magic formula while spread out across the country on their break.
Still, critics of the GOP effort rang the alarm bell.
“Zombie Trumpcare is coming back to life,” said Topher Spiro, a health policy expert with the liberal Center for American Progress.
With Congressional leaders likely to be focused on avoiding a government shutdown next week, a new push on health care seemed unlikely, and nothing was on the House schedule for that.