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'Obamacare Is the Law of the Land' After Trump Yanks Health Care Bill

By  Ben Fractenberg and Nicole Levy | March 24, 2017 4:26pm | Updated on March 26, 2017 2:57pm

 Donald Trump addresses GOP members at a Grand Hyatt Hotel gala on April 14, 2016.
Donald Trump addresses GOP members at a Grand Hyatt Hotel gala on April 14, 2016.
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Ben Fractenberg

MIDTOWN — Obamacare is still the "law of the land," after President Donald Trump pulled the Republican health care bill Friday right before the House was ready to vote, officials said.

The bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled at the last minute after dozens of conservative and moderate Republicans came out publicly against it, with 33 vowing to vote no and nine with concerns, leaving the party with the prospect of a humiliating defeat. 

"We're going to be living with Obamacare for the forseeable future," Speaker Paul Ryan said after the bill was pulled, "Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land until it is replaced."

"We came really close today, but we came up short," Ryan added, "This is a disappointing day for us."

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens, hailed the move in a statement Friday afternoon.

“House Republicans finally realized that the bill they have proposed does not pass muster with the American people," Maloney said.

"This bill would have ripped away health insurance from 24 million Americans, increased premiums and imposed an age tax on people over 50 years old," she added, referring to the findings of a report by the Congressional Budget Office.

The bill, amended to appease the conservative House Freedom Caucus, would also have eliminated "essential health benefits" guaranteed by Obamacare, such as maternity care and prescription drug coverage. 

“Not only is this a tremendous victory for New York, but for the entire nation," said Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the antipoverty group Community Service Society of New York

"For New Yorkers especially, it’s incredibly important that our ladder of health insurance programs from Medicaid to the Essential Plan to subsidized health plan coverage remain in effect for millions of New Yorkers who have come to rely on this incredibly important patchwork of health coverage.”

Still, Maloney warned that Republican politicians will likely continue to push for cuts to health benefits in the interest of trimming the federal budget deficit.

“I will continue to do everything I can to protect the significant progress we have made since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law seven years ago," she said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said a "grassroots movement" stopped the bill from passing. 

"While the fight is far from over, Obamacare repeal efforts are now on life support as the law continues to keep Americans alive," the mayor said. "I commend New York City’s Congressional delegation for standing up against repeal efforts and a related amendment targeting New York City taxpayers.”

Trump said "bad things are going to happen to Obamacare" and that Democrats may be willing to compromise as prices skyrocket. 

"It’s imploding and soon will explode and it’s not going to be pretty."