Pres. Trump Hosts Senate GOP Lunch To Talk Health Care

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is telling Republican senators they have to keep their promise.

“For seven years you promised the American people you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option,” he said.

He summoned GOP lawmakers to the White House for the second time in less than a month as they struggle to find consensus on a health care overhaul.

Trump has said he is deeply “disappointed” by the collapse of the GOP health care bill.

 

But that promise of a better bill could be a problem.

Moderate and conservative Republicans can’t agree on the best way to move forward, so the party leaders are now moving on to a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, with no replacement plan.

Some in the GOP are holding out hope it won’t come to that.

“Until there’s a vote, there’s still an opportunity to come up with something that is common ground for enough folks to pass the legislation,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to move ahead with the bill that would repeal Obamacare even though he doesn’t have enough votes to pass it.

It’s a move Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, can get behind.

“I’ll vote for that. I think it will be disruptive to the markets but it will push us more aggressively to fix the situation,” said Graham.

McConnell said he’ll do it at the request of the president and vice president.

“This is the same legislation that a majority of the Senate voted to send to the president in 2015. Now we thankfully have a president in office who will sign it, so we should send it to him,” said Sen. McConnell.

Democrats say they’re standing by, waiting to work with Republicans to fix Obamacare.

“They closed us off, they thought they could do it on their own. Now it’s clear that they can’t, and the door is open again,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

But right now, any vote on a “repeal only” bill looks doomed – with at least four moderate Republicans and all Democrats opposed.

Schumer said a straight repeal would catastrophic.

“It would cause our health care system to implode creating chaos millions more would lose insurance,” he said.

The vote on the repeal only bill is supposed to happen next week.

Leader McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes when the bill reaches the Senate floor.

Thursday is the deadline for the Trump administration to send out the next monthly round of Affordable Care Act subsidies which help defray the cost of care for individuals with low incomes. POLITICO reports the president has repeatedly told aides he wants to end the subsidy payments.

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