Trump: I think the Senate will vote to start healthcare debate

Trump: I think the Senate will vote to start healthcare debate

President Trump said just ahead of a crucial Senate vote on Tuesday that he believed Republicans would support the motion to proceed on a healthcare bill.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal he was optimistic that the Senate would vote to begin debate on a healthcare bill and that he had been working to win the 50 votes needed to pass the motion to proceed, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie.

“I think we’re doing pretty well on healthcare,” Trump told the Journal. “We’ll see.”

Trump also backed off from a previous call to pass a straight repeal of ObamaCare, saying that he would “rather add the replace.”

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“The problem with [straight] repeal is you’ll have millions of people out there — you’ll have people out there who will say, ‘How do we know we’re going to have healthcare?’” Trump said. “And I hate to do that to people. I’m always concerned about that. I don’t like it from that standpoint.”

Trump also described the difficulties in winning enough votes to pass the legislation, calling it “a one-inch road, and it wheels through the middle of the valley.”

GOP leadership in the Senate has struggled to win enough votes from their own party to pass versions of a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

“It’s a very, very difficult situation, because you move a little to the left, and you lose four guys,” Trump told the Journal. “You move a little bit to the right, and all of a sudden you have a bloc of people who are gone.”