After years of Republicans saying they would "repeal and replace" Obamacare, and Trump promising to make it the first big accomplishment of his administration, the GOP plan has been abandoned. After conferring with each other, Trump and Ryan chose the coward's way out of the mess they created. Instead of bringing their terrible plan to the House for a vote (where it would have gone down in ignominious defeat), they just withdrew it.
Both Trump and Ryan are trying to pass the blame for their failure to Democrats. As a Democrat, I wish that was true. I would love for the Democratic Party to be able to claim they defeated this bad plan, but it just isn't true. The Republicans have a substantial majority in the House of Representatives, and the only reason the plan could not be passed is because (after seven years of trying) the Republicans are still incapable of agreeing on any health care plan.
The reason, of course, is because the Republicans don't think American citizens have a right to decent health care. For them, health care is just a product which is available to those who can afford it. And those who can't afford it don't deserve to have it. The right to life is not a right that Republicans believe in -- or at least it's a right they believe should be reserved for the rich.
That means Obamacare is safe -- at least for now. Obamacare will continue without any changes made by the Republicans. That is both a good and a bad thing. It is good because it's much better than the broken system it replaced. It's bad because Obamacare has a couple of big flaws.
First, while it reduced the amount of Americans without health insurance, it doesn't cover all American citizens. The United States remains the only developed nation that doesn't cover all its citizens with health insurance or a guarantee for decent medical care.
Second, it doesn't do anything to control the rising costs of health care. The United States spends substantially more per capita on health care than any other developed nation, and that spending continues to rise unabated.
These flaws could be fixed, but they won't be as long as the Republicans control both houses of Congress. They aren't interested in fixing the flaws in Obamacare -- only in destroying the program. They have made that very clear.