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Watch Live: President Trump Delivers A Statement About Healthcare

Having warned "Republicans have a last chance to do the right thing on Repeal & Replace after years of talking & campaigning on it," in a tweet this morning, building pressure on the GOP after threatening overnight that "if Republicans don't Repeal and Replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!" President Trump will deliver a statement about healthcare, shortly after meeting with what he calls “victims of Obamacare."

The Senate will move forward with a vote this week on a Republican health-care bill, but, as MarketWatch.com reports, it’s not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace Obamacare or simply repeal it, according to the Senate’s third-ranking Republican. The Associated Press reports Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will make a decision soon on which bill to bring up for a vote.

At this stage, it’s unlikely that the senate will vote to begin debate, as the Trump administration has struggled to bridge the divide between moderates and conservatives, who have dramatically different expectations regarding the bill and its contents. In its latest draft, the Trump team included a revision that would allow insurance companies to sell cheap plans that provide little in the way of coverage as a sop to conservatives like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But it wasn’t enough to secure the support of conservatives, and moderates still balk at the proposed cuts to medicare.

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The Trump repeal-and-replace effort is in a difficult spot. With a slim two-vote majority, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to simply repeal Obamacare died last week after moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski said they’d oppose a straight repeal. Following the collapse of their effort to repeal and replace the landmark health-care law, the president said last week that Republicans should “let Obamacare fail,” adding that it “will be a lot easier” to let the bill falter on its own.

As Bloomberg Analyst Spencer Perlman reminds us, “even if debate begins, defeat is likely,” while, “repeal in any form does not have adequate support in the current Senate.” With this in mind, we’re curious to hear whether Trump will use this opportunity to try and whip up votes for the bill, or if he’ll signal that the administration is moving on. It’s also notable that this last-minute address comes after Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci to be his communications director late last week, pushing out former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and stoking rumors that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus could be next to depart.

As USA Today writes, Trump’s statement comes nearly a week after he pressed Republican senators to agree to an alternative to Obamacare, before taking an August recess.

Live Feed (Statement due to begin at 1515ET)

"The Republican plan doesn’t fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it.” – Rand Paul

 

Senator Paul knows government loves taxes and bureaucracy and it will always be reluctant to vote away such power and control. So instead of repealing the disaster that is Obamacare altogether, Republicans are tinkering with a replacement. This is the wrong approach.

 

The Obamacare monster doesn’t need to be replaced. It needs to be repealed. Eliminate it altogether. Get government out of the health care business. Stop subsidizing insurance companies with taxpayer money. Instead, make insurance companies compete on an open, free market. That’s what capitalism is all about. If we removed big government and insurance company interference from health care, real capitalism could drive medical costs down considerably.

 

—Ben Garrison