President Trump urges Republicans to repeal Obamacare, work on new healthcare plan
Trump tweeted his message after two more GOP senators announced their opposition to legislation he backs. The defections left Republicans short of the votes they need to pass the measure.world Updated: Jul 18, 2017 10:17 IST
US President Donald Trump on Monday urged Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare and work on a healthcare plan that he said would draw Democratic support.
In a tweet following the loss of support for a Senate Republican bill, Trump said, “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Democrats have insisted that they will not cooperate with any Republican legislation that repeals President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law, but would work in a bipartisan way to improve it.
Trump tweeted his message Monday night after two more GOP senators announced their opposition to legislation he backs. The defections left Republicans short of the votes they need to pass the measure.
The announcements from Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas left the Republican Party’s long-promised efforts to get rid of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation reeling. Next steps, if any, were not immediately clear.
Lee and Moran both said they could not support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislation in its current form. They joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom announced their opposition right after McConnell released the bill last Thursday.
McConnell is now at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate and may have to go back to the drawing board or even begin to negotiate with Democrats, a prospect he’s threatened but resisted so far. Or he could abandon the health care effort, which has proven more difficult than many Republicans envisioned after campaigning on the issue for years, and move on to tax legislation, a bigger Trump priority to begin with.
McConnell’s bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one,” said Moran.
Lee said, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
It was the second straight failure for McConnell, who had to cancel a vote on an earlier version of the bill last month when defeat became inevitable.