Trump works to persuade reluctant Republicans.
Ahead of his meeting with the House’s most hard-line conservatives, President Trump released a video pitch for the House plan to repeal and partially replace the Affordable Care Act. Bottom line: “Go with our plan. It’s going to be terrific.”
But as Mr. Trump and House leaders focus on the Republican Party’s conservatives, they are losing House moderates.
The most recent defection came from Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington. Her statement said, “But we can do better than the current House replacement plan, and I cannot support it in its current form.”
Obama speaks out on repealing his health law.
Former President Barack Obama has been remarkably quiet as Republicans in Congress and Mr. Trump work to dismantle his signature domestic achievement.
On the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s signing, Mr. Obama released a statement.
His bottom line: The health care law is working, but it could be improved if Republicans and Democrats work together.
“The reality is clear: America is stronger because of the Affordable Care Act. There will always be work to do to reduce costs, stabilize markets, improve quality, and help the millions of Americans who remain uninsured in states that have so far refused to expand Medicaid. I’ve always said we should build on this law, just as Americans of both parties worked to improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over the years. So if Republicans are serious about lowering costs while expanding coverage to those who need it, and if they’re prepared to work with Democrats and objective evaluators in finding solutions that accomplish those goals — that’s something we all should welcome. But we should start from the baseline that any changes will make our health care system better, not worse for hardworking Americans. That should always be our priority.”
One poll finds public support lacking for health bill.
A new poll by Quinnipiac University put support for the Republicans’ American Health Care Act at 17 percent, with 56 percent opposed and 26 percent undecided. Even support among self-described Republicans is not terribly high, 41 percent in favor and 24 percent opposed.
Only 13 percent of women said they favored the health proposal.
Pelosi denounces “a moral monstrosity.”
As Republicans intensified their arm-twisting, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, panned the health care measure as “a moral monstrosity” on Thursday.
She also engaged in a little taunting, criticizing President Trump and Republicans for their 11th-hour efforts to bring party members on board.
”May be a great negotiator, Donald Trump,” she said with a smile. “Rookie’s error bringing it up in a day.”
Senate Democrats are not in a cooperative mood.
Even if the Republicans’ American Health Care Act can find its way through the House, the eye of the Senate needle is even narrower.
Forty-three Senate Democrats put Mr. Ryan on notice in a letter that they had no intention of cooperating with Republicans to complete a remake of the American health care system. Mr. Ryan said the Republican remake will come in three “prongs.” The first will be passage of legislation through the budget process that guts the Affordable Care Act, protected by arcane parliamentary rules from a Democratic filibuster.
The next “prong” would be regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. And the final “prong” would be substantive changes to the health care system that would require 60 votes in the Senate — and Democratic cooperation.
That isn’t happening, Senate Democrats declared in the letter.
“We are writing today to inform you that our caucus will not support any efforts that jeopardize the consumer protections our constituents rely upon when they purchase insurance.”
Specifically, they said they would not tolerate the conservative push to eliminate so-called “Essential Health Benefits” mandated for insurance policies issued under the Affordable Care Act, which include maternity care, emergency services, ambulance services and preventive health care.
“We will oppose any efforts to lessen our constituents’ access to basic preventative and primary care,” the senators said. “Undermining the value of insurance and requiring that insurance plans cover rudimentary health care services is simply shifting more costs onto patients and taxpayers.”