In a White House appearance where several families stood as part of the background, President Donald Trump declared the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) a "meaningless promise." He said at one point on Monday “Obamacare is death.” Trump added, "Obamacare has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hard-working Americans." Some of the families who joined him at the White House, Trump said, had suffered under the ACA.

Trump denounced Democrats for a lack of bipartisanship he also called them out for blocking Republican efforts to reform health care. "The Senate bill protects coverage for preexisting conditions and you don't hear this from the Democrats, they like to tell you the opposite and they don't even know the bill,” said the president. “They say death, death, death. Well, Obamacare is death," Trump said. "That’s the one that’s death."

The White House is urging Republicans to act this week to repeal and replace Obamacare, something which the GOP has so far failed to do. On Monday, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters that debate on health care legislation will begin on Tuesday.

At the White House, Trump spoke of the coming vote as an opportunity for Democrats to redeem themselves, but also as a moment of truth for Republicans. "Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare," the president said. The margin of error is very narrow. “So far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the ObamaCare nightmare,” Trump said. “They now have a chance, however, to hopefully, hopefully fix what has been so badly broken for such a long time." He continued, “ObamaCare has been a nightmare. There is still time to do the right thing, and for Senate Republicans, this is their chance to keep their promise made over and over again. They said repeal and replace, repeal and replace. But they can now keep their promise to the American people to provide emergency relief to those in desperate need of help, and to improve healthcare for all Americans.”

Three Republican senators: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, have signalled that they are willing to sink the Republican initiative over concerns for Planned Parenthood funding. Trump has also warned that there will be “repercussions” for Republicans if they fail to pass health care reform. Trump acknowledged the problem in his remarks.

"Democrats aren't giving us one vote, so we need virtually every single vote from Republicans," which, he added, is "not easy to do." While they control the Senate with 52 votes, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes on overhauling health care. Earlier on Monday, Trump pressed his case on Twitter. He wrote: “Republicans have a last chance to do the right thing on Repeal and Replace after years of talking and campaigning on it.”

Trump told reporters last week that Obamacare should be allowed to fail, vowing that he and the GOP will not accept blame for any fallout. Last week, Trump tweeted: “As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!”

 

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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