The White House is trying this weekend to
rally support for the ObamaCare replacement
plan -- with Vice President Pence in
Kentucky and President Trump using the bully
pulpit and old-reliable Twitter.
"The ObamaCare nightmare is about to
end,” Pence said at a business routable in
Kentucky, with protesters outside the venue
and as the GOP replacement bill moves
through the House and heads toward the
Senate. “Here are the heartbreaking facts:
Today, Americans are paying $3,000 more a
year on average for health insurance since
the day ObamaCare was signed into law.”
Kentucky has emerged as a battleground in
the early efforts by Trump and GOP House
leadership to pass the American Health Care
Act, with Republican Sen. Rand Paul helping
lead conservative opposition to the bill,
“Kentucky is a textbook example of
ObamaCare’s failures,” said Pence, citing
premium increases in the state as high as 27
percent and Louisville-based Humana Inc.
planning to exit Kentucky's ObamaCare
exchange next year.
Trump and practically every elected
Washington Republican campaigned on a
promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Former President Obama’s signature health
care law has insured roughly 11 million
Americans since its 2010 inception but some
Americans have since struggled with rising
premiums and dwindling policy options.
“We are making great progress with
healthcare,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
He also used the presidential weekly
address this weekend to make his case.
"Seven years ago this month, ObamaCare
was signed into law over the profound
objections of the American people,” said
Trump, who plans to rally support next week
at a stop in Nashville, Tennessee. “House
Republicans have put forward a plan that
gets rid of this terrible law and replaces
it with reforms that empower states and
To be sure, Trump, known for his real estate
and international deal-making before
becoming president, realizes that getting
the replacement bill to his desk for
signature will require backing on several
fronts -- including support from the most
conservative members of his party.
Since the bill was released earlier this
week, Trump has hosted key GOP committee
leaders at the White House and had dinner
Wednesday with conservative firebrand Texas
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump has also
invited members of the House Freedom Caucus,
a conservative wing of the Republican House,
to the White House for bowling and pizza.
While House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.,
should get the minimum 218 House votes to
move the bill to the Senate, Trump and
fellow Republican leaders in Congress have
essential no chance of garnering any
“Tonight, Republicans revealed a Make
America Sick Again bill,” House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat,
said after the GOP House leaders released
their replacement bill.
Opposition by elected Democrats has been
outmatch only perhaps by voters, who have
pounded congressional Republicans at recent
town hall events over concerns about losing
health insurance as a result of repeal and
After releasing their long-sought bill,
House Republicans this week swiftly pushed
it through two key committees.
They hope to pass the legislation in the
full House during the week of March 20, then
send it to the Senate where it would need
support of 51 of 52 Senate Republicans to
reach Trump’s desk for signature.
Meanwhile, Democrats are accusing
Republicans of trying to rush the bill
through Congress before the public can
figure out what it does. And they say the
GOP should at least wait until the
non-partisan Congressional Budget Office
releases its report, which could come by
The GOP legislation would eliminate the
current mandate that nearly all people in
the United States carry insurance or face
And it would use tax credits to allow
consumers to buy health coverage, expand
health savings accounts, phase out an
expansion of Medicaid and cap that program
for the future, end some requirements for
health plans under Obama's law, and scrap a
number of taxes.
Conservatives argue that the legislation
doesn't do enough to uproot ObamaCare. And
some Republicans accuse Ryan and fellow
House GOP leaders of moving too quickly.
Democrats paid a price for their lengthy
process in passing the bill. As the months
dragged on, public opposition grew. Over
Congress' August recess in 2009, that rage
overflowed at similar town halls, which
helped spawn the Tea Party movement that
gave the GOP control of the House the next