President Trump is sticking to his guns when it comes to the newly proposed, and heavily criticized, American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill.
Earlier this week, he sat down for an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the current state of the bill. They also talked about how the GOP plans to pass it without the 60 votes necessary to bypass the minority party.
“We will take care of our people… or I’m not signing it,” said Trump.
The AHCA bill has caused quite a stir in the government as a whole. Everyone expected Democrats like House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to rally up their posse for a battle cry as soon as the bill hit the floor. However, there also seems to be some pushback from Republican members of Congress.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) says she will not support the bill in its current form. She claims the bill “really misses the mark,” and she won’t stand by it until negotiations are made to reflect the majority of the needs of her constituents in Maine.
Collins pointed out the result of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis from last week. It stated that 24 million people will lose health coverage by the year 2026 under the new bill. She also noted that many senior citizens and low-income households will have to pay more under the AHCA than Obamacare, according to the CBO report. She says that will directly affect many of her state’s citizens, and millions more around the nation.
“This bill doesn’t come close to achieving the goal of allowing low-income seniors to purchase health insurance,” she said. “We don’t want to in any way sacrifice coverage for people who need it the most.”
Collins isn’t alone, either. Many other Republican politicians have come forward in opposition.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) . He claims that right now, the bill is broken in many ways. “The bill probably can be fixed, but it’s going to take a lot of carpentry on that framework,” said Cotton. “As it’s written today, this bill in the House of Representatives cannot pass the Senate. And I believe it would have adverse consequences for millions of Americans, and it wouldn’t deliver on our promises to reduce the cost of health insurance for Americans.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has turned from a respected member of the GOP to an anti-Trump snowflake after joining the liberal during the election, has criticized both the president and the bill. McCain says the cuts to Medicaid are too steep to allow the bill to pass. He claims the bill needs some changes, and then maybe he can reconsider. “They need to go back to the drawing board,” he said in a statement.
The Republican uprising against the bill also looks as if it has woken up the liberal left from their slumber. House Democrats finally put down their posters and marching boots and returned to work. They have introduced a plethora of amendments – some serious, some not so much – for the bill, which they claim will help the GOP gain votes from them in order to pass it.
Any amendments that are introduced have to be approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in which Republicans hold the majority.
Dems proposed striking the “per capita cap-based payments under Medicaid” in the AHCA and staying with the current Medicaid expansion funding. The amendment was defeated by a 31-to-23 vote.
They also suggested the bill cannot pass unless the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation say it will lower out-of-pocket costs for Americans, lower premiums, and provide more people coverage. These were three promises made by President in the lead-up to the bill’s introduction. This was also defeated by a party-line vote of 31 to 23.
The liberals even used an AHCA amendment to try and get a look at Trump’s tax returns. They introduced an amendment that said the bill cannot pass until “the individual who holds the office of President makes available to the public authenticated copies of the individual’s returns of Federal income tax for the most recent ten taxable years.” In other words, the amendment would require Trump to release his tax returns if the bill is passed.
With a lack of support from the GOP, as well as House Democrats taking every opportunity to be as childish as they can be, President Trump has his hands full. Still, he keeps moving forward with his healthcare mission for the American people.
During the interview, the President was asked if the current bill was “the best the Republicans could do after seven years of thinking about it?”
His reply: “I think we’re going to have negotiation, but you have to understand, we only have 52. We only have two-vote — we have a two-vote margin. And you’re always — you know, to get 52 people is very hard. If we had 60 — or 60 votes, we could do something different.”
Trump seems to have one ally in the House that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
When asked about House Speaker Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the president was very upfront and honest. “I think he’s on board with the American people,” he said. “I do believe that strongly. I think he is on board with my presidency. I think he wants to make it very successful. I like him. We had our run-ins…but I think he is very much of — he wants to do the right thing. That I believe 100%. We’re going to take care of the people, and by the way, if we’re not going to take care of the people, I’m not signing anything. … I’m in a little way, I’m an arbitrator.” He continued that health care reform would be a three-phase process.
As the tension heats up against the AHCA, it will be a good change of pace to see the government coming together to discuss the bill and hopefully reach a solution. Perhaps this will become part of Trump’s plan to unite the parties, or perhaps it always was.