Conservatives press for ObamaCare repeal ahead of Trump meeting with GOP

Conservatives press for ObamaCare repeal ahead of Trump meeting with GOP
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As President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE and GOP leaders prepare to meet this weekend to chart the Republican agenda for 2018, conservatives are urging high-ranking Republicans to make health care a top legislative priority.

The meeting comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) has indicated his chamber will likely move away from repealing ObamaCare in favor of passing bipartisan legislation. Conservative groups are pushing Republicans to try again to gut President Obama’s signature health-care law, but McConnell has acknowledged the effort will be harder now with an even slimmer, 51-49, majority.

“We applaud your success in repealing one of the most despised parts of Obamacare — the individual mandate fines — but millions of Americans are still suffering under the many other provisions of the 2010 health overhaul that remain on the books,” 11 leaders of conservative groups and right-leaning health-care experts wrote in an open letter to Trump, McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (R-Wis.). 

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“Americans need relief, and we believe they will hold their representatives accountable at the polls this November,” the letter, published Thursday in The Daily Signal, states. It mentions a bill from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor Overnight Defense: GOP chair blames Dems for defense budget holdup | FDA, Pentagon to speed approval of battlefield drugs | Mattis calls North Korea situation 'sobering' Bipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTrump allies see 's---hole' controversy as overblown GOP senator: Leaking Trump’s alleged Oval Office comments ‘undermines trust’ Dems quiz Trump HHS nominee on drug pricing MORE (R-La.) as the legislation that “we believe can lead to success.”

In September, a last-ditch attempt at repealing and replacing ObamaCare gained momentum in the Senate, but it became clear the bill didn’t have the support to pass before a Sept. 30 deadline. The Graham-Cassidy bill repealed major provisions of ObamaCare, and in turn, would send the money to states in the form of a block grant.

“We believe this new approach can lead to a successful outcome, and we encourage you to create the path by making reform a priority in your decisions about your 2018 agenda,” the group wrote, adding that, since the fall, they’ve been meeting with congressional leaders, White House officials and health-care policy experts to further fine-tune the policy.

Those signing the letter include Mike Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action for America; Lanhee Chen, of the Hoover Institution and Stanford University; Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum; former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who worked on the Graham-Cassidy bill; and more.