Trump gives ultimatum to House Republicans to vote on healthcare plan
The vote on the bill was previously scheduled for Thursday but the lack of consensus among conservatives has postponed the process. If the legislation fails, there won’t be another effort to make good on the flagship Republican promise to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Trump said.
On Thursday evening, House Republican leaders postponed scheduled vote on their new health-care bill after failing to gather enough support to pass it.
In response, President Donald Trump sent a kind of ultimatum to recalcitrant G.O.P lawmakers and demanded them to support the bill on a new voting today or see their opportunity to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, vanish.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare was one of Trump's main election campaign promises, and has been a long-time goal for Republicans.
For the past week, President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have been scrambling to convince conservative holdouts by offering right-leaning tweaks to the law, including a work requirement for Medicaid coverage. That particular change might not work as planned, though, since poor health (and no access to treatment) can keep people from holding a job.
The demand, issued by his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, in an evening meeting with House Republicans, came after a marathon day of negotiating at the White House and in the Capitol in which Mr. Trump — who has boasted of his deal-making prowess — fell short of selling members of his own party on the health plan, as reported in The New York Times.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan emerged from the session and announced curtly that Mr. Trump would get his wish for a vote on Friday.
According toMick Mulvaney, Donald Trump is prepared to leave the current healthcare system established by former US President Barack Obama in place if his bill does not gain enough support in Congress.
Trump has advised House Republicans that he will not negotiate further on the content of the new proposed healthcare act, known as the American Health Care Act.
According to sources in Congress cited by The Hill, the White House has agreed to remove one of the fundamental demands made by the Freedom Caucus, an ultraconservative group of Republican lawmakers who are blocking a settlement on the plan.
Members of the Freedom Caucus are pushing for the White House to remove compulsory medical coverage of what are known as "essential benefits", which among other things cover emergency assistance and maternity care.
However, more moderate Republicans have objected to roll-backs of Medicaid proposed by the Freedom Caucus, as well as their proposal to remove essential benefits.