Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if repeal bill fails

Greg Nash

President Trump warned House Republicans on Thursday that he will leave ObamaCare in place unless they approve legislation to repeal and replace it.

Trump officials meeting with the House GOP conference said Trump is done negotiating over the legislation, which was set to come up for a vote Thursday but was delayed. 

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a former member of the House Freedom Caucus that has been negotiating with Trump, told the GOP conference that Trump wants a vote on Friday during a dramatic closed-door meeting, according to a GOP source in the room. 

{mosads}If the vote fails, Trump will move on to other priorities and ObamaCare will stay as the law of the land, Mulvaney said.

The developments set up a likely vote on the measure Friday afternoon. 

Dozens of Republicans have vowed to oppose the bill, putting them into a direct confrontation with their president.

With all of the House’s Democrats expected to vote against the bill, the GOP can only afford 22 defections.

The House will be voting on a modified bill.

A managers amendment to be released Thursday night that would repeal ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which require insurers to offer coverage in certain areas. Conservatives have demanded this change, saying it will lower premium costs.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) confirmed the Trump administration’s message after the meeting. Trump is done negotiating, he said. 

“We have to have a vote tomorrow. He expects it to pass, but he’s moving on if for some reason it didn’t,” Collins said.

The congressman also summarized Mulvaney’s message, saying the administration was determined to get a vote.

“If for any reason it’s down, we’re just going to move forward with additional parts of our agenda,” Collins said Mulvaney told the House GOP. “This is our moment in time. The president is insisting on a vote tomorrow one way or the other,” Collins said, quoting Mulvaney.

“If it doesn’t pass, we’re moving beyond healthcare.”

Jessie Hellmann and Mike Lillis contributed to this story.

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