Seven Years Of Paul Ryan’s Broken Healthcare Promises End in Humiliation

By: Tony Rivera


Last Friday, Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the Republican Repeal bill off the floor just before it was scheduled for a vote and hours after it was clear that there was embarrassingly insufficient support for his signature agenda item.


Paul Ryan’s failure means he broke his biggest, clearest, loudest promise to the American people—it’s been the one policy proposal that he’s mentioned in all of his major speeches since becoming Speaker. It was one of the first policy priorities he identified in his first leadership Press Conference after Trump’s election. He spoke about repeal in his convention speech last June. It has been a bedrock of his “Better Way” agenda.


This, then, is a colossal failure–one that undermines the Republicans’ entire case for governing that they’ve made for seven years. In fact, on Friday, just hours after the big lie was revealed, the Washington Examiner’s managing editor penned a scathing editorial titled: “GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is the biggest broken promise in political history.” Tough, but fair.


Paul Ryan’s failure is monumental for a number of reasons:
  • First, Ryan has forever compromised his ability to wax poetic about “Regular Order.” Ever since taking over for John Boehner, Ryan has urged that Congress return to notion of committee-driven governing.
  • Ryan has lost all credibility on a “bottom up” approach to governing. His sad attempt to pass this bill featured zero hearings, secret meeting rooms, and confidential drafts that even Republicans were not allowed to review.
  • Ryan can never be called a “policy wonk” again. With conservative thought leaders like Peter Suderman, Avik Roy, Phil Klein, and Bob Laszewski , among others, castigating Ryan’s repeal bill, it looks like the conservative “wonks” have kicked Ryan out of the club.


On Friday, Paul Ryan admitted that he does not know where to go from here. And with the huge challenges and opportunities facing America, it’s now unquestionable that Speaker Ryan is not up to the job.