Republicans grumble: Trump adding 'confusion' to health care debate

The Latest Trump says Oval Office itself is empowering

It's looking like House Republicans haven't learned anything from their late-March failure to repeal Obamacare, which would have caused upwards of 24 million people to lose coverage over the next decade while cutting almost a trillion in federal spending on health programs serving the poor and the most vulnerable seniors.

The goal here is pretty simple for House Republicans - just get the GOP health care bill approved, however possible - and send it to the Senate. "I want it to be good for sick people", he told Bloomberg. If 23 Republicans defect, the bill would likely fail a floor vote. (The exact number depends on how many members of Congress are present if the vote ever happens.) Per a tabulation by HuffPost's Matt Fuller, there are 20 Republicans who have publicly said they will vote "No", with another eight leaning against the bill.

Last week, Republicans thought they were headed toward a deal that could pass the House.

"If we can not explain to people that is not going to happen, then it is going to be very hard to ever bring a bill to the floor".

"I do think each minute that has passed, each hour and each day, the "no" members are becoming more locked in 'no, ' and we may be losing members", said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who favors going back to the original version of the American Health Care Act that was scrapped by Republican leaders earlier this year.

That jibes with my conversation with a senior House Republican who told me this morning that Cohn had gotten out over his skis with a pledge to vote - and pass - health care this week. "This is going be a great week".

"Before 2014 it was all theoretical, but now it is actual people", said Rep. Larry Levitt, a health care policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "How's it going? Alright, we're moving along?"

Trump said Sunday the White House is pushing forward, and that the GOP plan "guarantees" coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

"We've made many changes to the bill", Trump told Dickerson, "We now have preexisting conditions in the bill".

"I was so proud to be able to take a major step to change the irresponsible and anti-job ObamaCare law", Denham said around the time of the 2011 vote, adding that the Affordable Care Act "is killing much-needed jobs by imposing prohibitive burdens on small businesses and American families through runaway spending, raising taxes, and mandates on small businesses".

In fact, the revised health care bill increases deductibles, according to the Congressional Budget Office. They will say that deregulation will lower health insurance costs. That's how the White House and Republican House leaders convinced the Freedom Caucus, the most conservative wing of the GOP, to be for this version of the bill after they opposed the last one. But the current GOP repeal effort goes too far for Upton, because it would essentially end Obamacare's ban on discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.

Forty-seven percent of USA residents surveyed last month for the Kaiser Family Foundation's health tracking poll voiced a "generally favorable" view of the health care law, while 41 percent expressed disfavor.

A new amendment sponsored by moderate leader Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey gave states the ability to opt out of more Obamacare regulations.

Early reports indicate the new vote, with the support of the House Freedom Caucus, could come as early as Wednesday.

"The individuals and families we represent cannot go back to a time when people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage or forced to choose between purchasing basic necessities and affording their health care coverage", the patient advocates said. All of a sudden, it was moderates in the hot seat. Anyone who voted "no" on that initial Republican bill would be supporting the status quo, he told the Springfield News-Leader in March.

Republican leadership is engaged in a frenzied whip effort, talking with members and educating them in hopes they can get rank-and-filers comfortable with the protections that do exist in the bill for people with pre-existing conditions.

"You remind them there is a United States Senate, and it will change things".

"The congressman will withhold judgment until we have an official bill on the floor for a vote", said his spokesman, Parker Williams. His views can be influential with many moderates.

"The President can't do this", this Republican said.

Kimmel's remarks prompted Obama to take to Twitter.



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