WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with conservative leaders at the White House on Wednesday as House lawmakers begin debate on a new Republican-led plan to overhaul Obamacare.
“The American people will be paying more and getting less,” said New York Rep. Eliot Engel.
“Trumpcare means higher costs for less healthcare plain and simple,” said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Attacks from Democrats are predictable.
“We don’t know how many people are going to lose their insurance and how high the uninsured rate will go up in America because they didn’t take the time to wait to see what that CBO score said,” said Florida Rep. Kathy Castor.
The Republican plan is being pushed even before it’s been scored – the non-partisan process of determining how much it would costs and how many people it would cover.
“We are going to keep moving forward and fulfill that promise,” said Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. “The American people expect us to do it, they want us to do it and the CBO is eventually going to come up with a score before it goes to the budget committee.”
But the president’s main opponents are conservatives, who have blasted the plan unveiled Tuesday as “Obamacare-lite.”
“We are united on repeal, but we are divided on a replacement,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
The new proposal does keep some popular elements of the Affordable Car Act in place, like allowing young adults to be covered by their parents’ insurance until they are 26-years-old.
Supporters maintain it meets party goals by removing the individual mandate and offering tax credits to help people with lower incomes buy insurance.
President Trump says he’s proud to support the GOP bill. He’s meeting Wednesday night at the White House with reluctant Republicans.
“I really believe we’re going to have tremendous support,” said Trump unconcerned.
Republicans will need near-unanimous GOP support to pass it.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is confident the president will get the skeptical GOP members to join his cause.
“He is a deal maker, he is a negotiator, he is a world-class businessman, he’s been highly successful at it,” Spicer said. “So if anybody can get a deal on something, it’s going to be Donald Trump.”
Despite the opposition by some Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts Congress will pass the legislation by early April.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its cost estimate on the health care plan early next week.