WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — President Trump is confident his new plan will pass after “TrumpCare” made it through the first round in the House. But there are plenty of hazards in the Senate.
The president’s prognosis on the new healthcare bill sounds like it will be a cinch.
He is also promising that the American Health Care Act will be a big league bargain for consumers.
“Premiums are going to come down substantially,” he said. “The deductibles are going to come down. It’s going to be fantastic health care.”
But White House officials acknowledge the Senate, where the Republicans hold a slim majority, may be the biggest hurdle yet.
“We expect there to be some changed, but we expect the principles and the main pillars of the health care bill, as it exists now, to remain the same,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary.
Moderate Republicans have already isolated their biggest problems with the bill out of the House, namely that it weakens protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions and reduces funds for the Medicaid program for the poor.
It also hasn’t yet been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office to determine how many consumers might lose coverage.
“When the House passes a bill, rushes it through before they know what the CBO score is, it tells you it is not about health care. It is more about politics,” said Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Even conservative Republicans, like Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, wants to guarantee care for people with pre-existing conditions.
“I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test? Was the child born with a congenital heart disease able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life,” asked Cassidy. “I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.”
He’s referencing late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who revealed his infant son was born with a congenital heart problem, a condition that doesn’t discriminate between the rich and poor.
“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” an emotional Kimmel told his audience.
But the microscope is already on Senate Republicans who formed a healthcare working group that doesn’t include any women. Critics wonder whether the president even knows what’s in the current bill after he lavished praise on the Australian healthcare system.
“I shouldn’t say this to a great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do, but we’re going to have great health care very soon,” Trump told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
As it turns out, Australia has universal healthcare — run by the government.
President Trump tried to clean that up with a Tweet on Friday.