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Trump Slams Congress On Obamacare Repeal As Senate Remains Deadlocked

Moments after taking aim at his nemesis, former FBI director James Comey, whom he accused of "illegally" leaking classified information ot the media, Trump took aim at Congress, and specifically the passage of Obamacare repeal, saying he did not expect Congress to leave for its summer recess without approving a "beautiful" new healthcare bill.

“I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!” Trump tweeted.

I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

 

Trump has good reason to be skeptical: the legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare has stalled in the Senate as GOP leaderships works on a new version of the bill. The first draft of the legislation was rejected by several Republican senators, forcing Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the measure initially scheduled for the end of June.

As Reuters adds, Trump's effort to roll back Obamacare are facing growing obstacles on Monday as Republicans who control the U.S. Senate remained sharply divided over how to keep down the costs of their healthcare bill and prevent millions from losing coverage. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told "Fox News Sunday" that Trump, who made repeal and replacement of Obamacare a central plank of his 2016 campaign, still expected the Senate to pass a healthcare bill either before the scheduled start of Congress' August recess "or maybe a little bit into" the recess.

Other Republicans voiced pessimism: over the weekend, Arizona Senator John McCain said that "my view is that it's probably going to be dead, speaking of the healthcare legislation on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Furthermore, conservative senators, such as Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said they cannot support the proposal unless it goes further to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. As a result, McConnell warned at a luncheon in his home state of Kentucky last week that if Republicans were unable to pass their own replacement bill, they might need to work with Democrats to bolster the insurance markets created under Obamacare, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, during a week-long recess last week that coincided with the Fourth of July holiday, liberal groups organized town halls and protests and ran ads criticizing the proposal. Most Republican senators kept a low profile on the issue, including McCain, who traveled to Afghanistan to visit troops, and Senator Jeff Flake, a fellow Arizonan who faces a tough re-election fight next year.

Last week, groups such as the state chapter of Planned Parenthood and Ability 360, an advocacy organization for disabled people, participated in events that spotlighted the Senate bill, including a town hall in Phoenix. At the Phoenix event, there were empty chairs on a stage with placards for McCain and Flake, who were invited but did not attend.

 

Arizonans such as Rosemary Dixon, who had a kidney transplant in 2015 and worries about how she will pay for her medication, spoke about the potential impact of the legislation.

As The Hill adds, GOP leaders are now debating a proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz that many have called a non-starter. His measure would permit insurance companies to sell any kind of coverage as long as they include at least one option that falls under the regulatory requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Republican leaders have said they’re considering scrapping the August recess to wrap up work on the bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare and move forward with other priorities on their legislative agenda, like tax reform and passing a budget. We'll believe it when we see it.