Declaring their uniform opposition to the American Health Care Act, House Democrats said Republicans should be “ashamed” of themselves and that Republicans who support it will be “tattooed” with their vote.
"What is happening today is a lose-lose situation for the Republicans. It’s a lose-lose for the American people, that's for sure. But the people who vote for this will have this vote tattooed to their foreheads as they go forward,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a Friday morning press conference.
“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle should be ashamed of themselves. And honestly some of them really are,” insisted House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y.
Crowley said the GOP lawmakers were in a bind because they are “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” support the bill.
“But they are more damned if they do” he added.
Democrats plan to seize on polls showing dwindling support for the Republican health care plan. A recent Quinnipiac University survey found Americans disapprove of the GOP bill by a 56 percent to 17 percent margin.
One out of every seven Americans, 14 percent, think they will lose their health insurance under the Republican plan.
Calling on their standard attack line, the Democratic members insisted the GOP’s efforts to repeal Obamacare were nothing more than a giveaway to the rich and would result in more than 24 million Americans losing health care coverage.
“This is more of a tax break bill for the rich than a health care bill,” charged Pelosi, who claimed that “many of the people who will lose their health care voted for President Trump.”
Democrats were not alone in pre-emptively assigning blame for the fate of the bill.
President Trump called out the conservative Freedom Caucus in a Friday morning tweet that asserted a vote against the bill would be a vote for continuing to fund Planned Parenthood.
“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” tweeted Trump on Friday morning.
The irony is that changes made to the measure to gain the Freedom Caucus’ backing could risk the support of moderates by putting in danger Obamacare’s coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The deal cut would end the Affordable Healthcare Act’s requirement that insurers cover “essential health benefits,” including preventative care and maternity benefits – a provision that has wide support among voters.
Pelosi also called out the Freedom Caucus, insisting that the bill was heavily influenced by their input.
“It is something initiated by the Republicans in the Congress, their leadership, Mr. Ryan. Some people call it Ryancare. It is more specially Trumpcare because he's determined to have it pass. But it's clearly dominated by the... Freedom Caucus,” she argued.
Late Thursday, Trump said he was finished negotiating and insisted an up-or-down vote take place on Friday. Regardless of whether it passes or fails, Trump indicated he planned to move on to other legislative priorities.