Trump Makes Push On Health Bill; Repeal-Only Vote An Option

Posted July 03, 2017

Asked about the president's challenge, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump hasn't changed his thinking and is still committed to working with the Senate on legislation - while exploring all options.

It's move that Republicans have tried in 2015, but don't seem to have the votes to push it through this time - many party senators oppose repealing the law - popularly known as Obamacare - without replacing it with a new one. More money could then be reallocated to help low-income Americans pay for health insurance.

"Obamacare is a disaster", the Kentucky lawmaker said.

"There would be absolutely no certainty, whatsoever, about anything", Laszewski said. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that as the legislation now is written, it would boost out-of-pocket costs for many poor consumers and produce 22 million uninsured people while cutting around $700 billion in taxes over a decade - largely for richer people and the health care industry. Trump's tweet did not appear to suggest a lot of White House confidence in the outcome.

Sasse said it's time for lawmakers to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Who would have thought a bill crafted in a bunker by legacy members of the Skull and Bones Society with the express goal of taking away poor people's access to competent health care so rich folk could heat their pools would be met by public backlash?

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GOP Sens. David Perdue of Georgia, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Kennedy of Louisiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Luther Strange of Alabama, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina sent McConnell a letter Friday asking him to either shorten or cancel the monthlong August recess so they can get more done. In an interview in November with CBS' "60 Minutes", he said that a repeal and replace effort would be done "simultaneously". "We are focused on doing that".

Trump is trying to revive an approach that GOP leaders and the president himself considered but dismissed months ago as impractical and politically unwise. "We are getting very close".

"It's not easy making American great again, is it?" he added.

Underscoring the fissures within the GOP, conservative group leaders on that call welcomed Trump's suggestion but said it didn't go far enough because it could open the door to a subsequent bipartisan compromise to replace Obama's law.

"That doesn't achieve what President Trump set out to do", he said. "I think you can get 52 Republicans for clean repeal". By this week's end, he wants to nail down changes that would assure the bill's passage after Congress' weeklong July 4 recess. The winners: billionaires, like Donald Trump, who would receive about $560 billion in tax cuts over 10 years.

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Yes, I know, Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act.

"If you wish to chant and stop others from being able to speak or be heard, that is not civil", Cassidy retorted.

McConnell planned to put the bill up for a vote on the floor last week, but yanked it last minute after it became clear too many Republicans abandoned ship. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., is visiting at least two rural hospitals over the break to underscore the impact of its proposed funding cuts.

McConnell's logic made sense.

But they have not settled on how they would finance all these changes, since conservatives oppose the centrists' push to preserve one of the bill's current taxes as a way of funneling more money to those who can not afford health coverage on their own.

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