President Trump issued an ultimatum on Thursday to recalcitrant Republicans to fall in line behind a broad health insurance overhaul or see their opportunity to repeal the Affordable Care Act vanish, demanding a Friday vote on a bill that appeared to lack a majority to pass.
As House leaders struggled to negotiate with holdouts in the hopes of rescheduling the vote, Mr. Trump sent senior officials to the Capitol with a blunt message: He would agree to no additional changes, and Republicans must either support the bill or resign themselves to leaving President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement in place.
“Guys, we’ve got one shot here,” he [Trump] told members of the Freedom Caucus at a meeting in the Cabinet Room, according to a person present in the room who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting was private. “This is it — we’re voting now.”
A new estimate of the bill’s cost and its impact on health coverage further soured the picture for wavering lawmakers. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday issued a report on the revised version of the health care bill showing that it would cost more than the original version but would not cover more people.
Recent changes to the bill, made through a series of amendments introduced on Monday, would cut its deficit savings in half. Instead of reducing the deficit by $337 billion, the new version of the bill would save only $150 billion over the decade.
Democrats say that the purpose of insurance is to share risk, and that without federal requirements, insurers would once again offer bare-bones policies. Before the Affordable Care Act took effect, maternity coverage was frequently offered as an optional benefit, or rider, for a hefty additional premium.
On the Ball Tweets
If all you are going to save is $15 billion a year, does it make any sense to take a lot of heat and get clobbered in mid-term elections?
Is there a reason those who expect to use the most services should not pay more? Why shouldn’t maternity leave cost more? Why shouldn’t smokers pay more? Why shouldn’t the young pay less? Why are there no cost controls anywhere in the system?
Is this miserable replacement bill the best Republicans can come up with?
Obamacare is in a death spiral. Insurers are dropping out. Is there any reason to not let Democrats be the ones demanding changes when the system blows sky high instead of infighting now?
The public is massively against the Obamacare replacement. Even Republicans are against it.
Badge of Honor?
Obamacare Replacement Dead?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock