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Health bill must pass, Trump says

He’d be ‘very angry’ otherwise; McConnell ‘has to pull it off’

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will be "very angry" if the Senate fails to pass a revamped Republican health care bill, adding that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must "pull it off."

Trump's remarks came a day before McConnell, R-Ky., is to release his revised legislation at a closed meeting of GOP senators. With Democrats united in their opposition to the bill, McConnell needs support from 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans next week to approve a motion to begin debate.

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Wednesday that he would oppose the motion. Several other GOP senators have expressed concerns about the legislation, leaving McConnell and the rest of the Republican leadership with days to win them over.

In a White House interview conducted Wednesday for the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, Trump said it was time for action by Republicans who during Barack Obama's presidency cast scores of votes "that didn't mean anything" in their attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

[INTERACTIVE: Compare House, Senate bills with Affordable Care Act]

"Well, I don't even want to talk about it because I think it would be very bad," he said when interviewer Pat Robertson asked what would happen if the effort fails. "I will be very angry about it, and a lot of people will be very upset."

Asked if McConnell would succeed, Trump said, "Mitch has to pull it off."

"I am sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand, waiting for our senators to give it to me," Trump said. "It has to get passed. They have to do it. They have to get together and get it done."

Trump previously has floated the possibility that lawmakers could repeal the health care law and replace it later -- a view that administration officials have stressed is not their preference.

[PRESIDENT TRUMP: Timeline, appointments, executive orders + guide to actions in first 100 days]

Excerpts from the interview with Robertson were released Wednesday afternoon. The full interview is set to air today.

Trump has played a limited role in cajoling GOP senators to back the legislation. Asked Wednesday about the president's involvement, spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House was providing "technical assistance."

To promote the revised bill, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday visited Kentucky, the home state of Paul and McConnell. During a speech at a small business, Pence said the measure adheres to conservative principles that would deliver more affordable health care with greater choices for consumers.

"I came here today to turn up the heat, because this is the moment," Pence said. "Now is the time. It's time for Congress to step up and repeal and replace Obamacare."

Pence predicted that the Republican effort will succeed.

McConnell's new bill is expected to offer only modest departures from the original version.

Its key elements remain in place. The measure would relax requirements that insurers cover specified services like hospital care and would make cuts to Medicaid, though the new version provides money to ease those reductions.

Penalties on people who don't buy coverage would be eliminated, federal health care subsidies would be less generous, and $45 billion would be allocated to help states combat drug abuse.

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The new package would eliminate tax increases the Affordable Care Act imposed on the health care industry. But it would retain tax increases on upper-income people, and it would use the revenue to help lower-earners afford coverage.

Paul told reporters that the revised measure didn't go far enough.

"I don't see anything in here really remotely resembling repeal," he said.

Annie Clarke, the spokesman for Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Collins would vote against the bill next week "if the Medicaid cuts remain the same" as those that have been discussed. Collins has said that millions of people will lose coverage if the Senate legislation passes.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the original Senate plan projected that it would lead to 22 million fewer Americans having coverage within a decade.

In addition to Paul and Collins, at least two other Republican senators publicly said they hadn't decided whether to back McConnell on the initial vote: Ted Cruz of Texas and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Cruz is the chief author of a proposal backed by other conservatives that would let insurers sell low-premium, bare-bones policies as long as the companies also sell plans covering all the services -- like substance abuse treatment -- required by the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz's plan has alienated moderates who worry that healthier people would flock to cheaper, skimpier plans, driving up the price of coverage for people with serious medical conditions.

"If there are not meaningful protections for consumer freedom that will significantly lower premiums, then the bill will not have the votes to go forward," Cruz said.

Scott said he was still trying to determine whether the revised legislation would help families and consumers with pre-existing medical problems.

McConnell withdrew an initial package two weeks ago after encountering opposition from Republicans.

Information for this article was contributed by Alan Fram, Erica Werner, Jill Colvin, Matthew Daly, Bruce Schreiner and Stephen Ohlemacher of The Associated Press; and by John Wagner of The Washington Post.

A Section on 07/13/2017

Comments

DEE672 says...

Trump is demanding the passage of a bill without any knowledge of what it contains. What does that tell you?

Posted 13 July 2017, 11:59 a.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Freeze frame this response because it perfectly illustrates Trump's entire approach to the presidency. Furrow one's brow, threaten and bully, DISREGARD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S MANDATE and - voila! - success. Except - oopsy - it doesn't work. Hubristic, imperious idiot.

Posted 13 July 2017, 12:32 p.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

Didn't the Dems DO the SAME thing? Remember Nancy's comments, or is your memory selective?

Posted 13 July 2017, 4:09 p.m. Suggest removal

djigoo says...

Oh boy...Christ's mouthpiece gohogs is about to bear false witness against his neighbor by quoting Pelosi out of context.

What fun!

Posted 13 July 2017, 4:36 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...

gohogs....About " Remember Nancy's comments"....Are you referring to the common conservative falsehood that she said, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it"? If so, allow me to expose your falsehood to the light of truth and honesty.
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Review the entire speech and quote the exact text.
In the speech she is explaining to the public in great detail what is in the bill: the jobs it will create, the costs that will be cut. She also tells of the benefits it will give to those less fortunate. People who are wiped out by medical bills, people who are becoming the new poor of America, and the insurance companies who profit from it.
Then she says, 'You've heard about the controversies within the bill'....(and this is the one that has been changed around), 'But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.' The key phrase that keeps getting cut out is 'away from the fog of controversy'.”
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The "fog of controversy" to which she referred was the propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, lies, distortions, spin, falsehoods, red herrings, logical fallacies, non sequiturs, and prevarications spread like manure in a garden of gullibility by the right wing propaganda machine. You know, the "death panels"--designated "Lie of the Year" by Snopes---microchip implantation, costs, etc.
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Let's visit just a few of the "fog of contorversy" myths.
Claim: 8.2 million Americans can’t find full-time work partly due to Obamacare.
FactCheck.or g says: False.
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Claim: The law is a job-killer.
FactCheck.or g says: Overblown.
It’s true nonpartisan economic analyses have estimated a “small” loss of mainly low-wage jobs because of the law. But as one expert told us, there hasn’t been much analysis of this impact of the law because, he believes, economists think the impact will be minimal.
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Claim: You won’t be able to choose your own doctor. Claim: The government will be between you and your doctor.
FactCheck.or g says: False.
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Claim: Those applying for federal subsidies can lie about their income without facing verification.
FactCheck.or g says: False.
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Claim: Congress is exempt from the law.
FactCheck.or g says: False.
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Ann Coulter said: “no doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare.”
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Eric Cantor said:“The IRS will have access to the American people’s protected health care information.”
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Obamacare provision will allow "forced home inspections" by government agents.
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Obamacare "will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally."
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A hidden provision in Obamacare taxes sporting goods as medical devices.
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ObamaCare allows the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia Muslim diktat in the United States. Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured.(Bachmann)
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Posted 13 July 2017, 5:20 p.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

googoo: Show me where I quoted Pelosi out of context. You can't. And thank you for saying I'm Christ's "Mouthpiece", I feel very honored. Thank you.

Posted 13 July 2017, 5:48 p.m. Suggest removal

carpenterretired says...

Bingo to djigoo, now for the fellow who bears false witness( regardless of his self righteousness or public piety ) bearing false witness is still bearing false witness.

Posted 13 July 2017, 7:02 p.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

cabinetmaker: Tell me, Sir, how I have borne false witness? I await your response.

Posted 13 July 2017, 7:22 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...

Well, gohogs, I asked "Are you referring to the common conservative falsehood that she said, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" ?
*
If not that, to exactly what "Nancy's comments" were you referring?
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I mean since the article is about passing a bill without knowing what is in it, and you posted "Didn't the Dems DO the SAME thing?" in regard to that topic......isn't it disingenuous of you to now pretend you weren't referring to that Pelosi misquote?
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You say "googoo: Show me where I quoted Pelosi out of context." You didn't provide ANY quote......but you did refer to "Nancy's comments".
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By all means supply us with some other Nancy quote that is topical. We're all munching popcorn, laughing at your disingenuousness, and waiting patiently.

Posted 13 July 2017, 7:43 p.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

23caliber: Keep waiting, stuff your face with popcorn, and drink vodka with your communist buddies...and be patient. Enjoy yourselves. :)

Posted 13 July 2017, 8:44 p.m. Suggest removal

djigoo says...

Tell me, gohogs...what DID you mean by "Nancy's comments?"

Yeah....that's what I thought.

Posted 13 July 2017, 9:40 p.m. Suggest removal

djigoo says...

BTW, gohogs...

Jesus called me tonight.

He told me what he thought of you telling me to "Go to hell, piece of sh!t."

And he wasn't very happy about it.

Posted 13 July 2017, 9:42 p.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

So, amnar has changed his profile to googoo?

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:44 a.m. Suggest removal

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