A frustrated President Trump ratcheted up pressure on Senate Republicans to back their party’s legislative effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
“Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law,” Trump said. “We as a party must fulfill that solemn promise to the voters of this country to repeal and replace — what they’ve been saying for the last seven years. But so far Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”
Senate Republicans have launched a new push for a Tuesday vote on a health care bill, it’s still unclear which version of their plan that would be, and what last-minute revisions might be added.
And it’s not clear that GOP leadership will have enough votes for any of the bills being considered.
A decisive number of Republican senators previously came out both against a plan to replace Obamacare and another so-called clean repeal proposal, in which lawmakers would give themselves two years to figure out the replacement. Trump himself has vacillated between the options.
But Trump clearly hopes to give the broader effort an 11th-hour push.
The president stood in front of several American families who adamantly oppose Obamacare. They are suffering, Trump said, because a small group of politicians and special interests “engineered a government takeover of health care.”
“For the past 17 [sic] years, Obamare has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hard-working Americans,” Trump said. (He meant to say “seven.”)
Trump rattled off the many hardships and broken promises that these “victims of Obamacare” say they’ve experienced, including skyrocketing costs and discontinued insurance.
Trump laid out the two diametrically opposed paths he thinks U.S. senators have before them: Vote for the GOP health care bill or become complicit in the harm it’s caused American citizens.
And Trump has repeatedly hinted at negative fallout for Republicans who don’t get on board.
“If Republicans don’t repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!” he exclaimed Sunday.
At an event last week, Trump sat next to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., a key swing vote on the health care bill, and singled him out.
“This was the one we were worried about,” Trump said, soon adding: “Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”
According to Trump’s Monday statement, the Senate health care bill is an opportunity for Republicans to provide “emergency relief” to Americans in need.
“The question for every senator, Democrat or Republican, is whether they will side with Obamacare’s architects, which have been so destructive to our country, or with its forgotten victims. Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare.”
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