Trump: More Republicans back healthcare bill after 'certain changes'

By Allen Cone  |  March 17, 2017 at 12:57 PM
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March 17 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said more Republicans back the House's healthcare plan after "certain changes" were made during a meeting with members of a committee Friday.

Trump, after a meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee, said he wanted "everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind" the GOP plan.

"I also want everyone to know that all of these no's or potential no's are all yeses," Trump said. "Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes."

House Republicans, optimistic they can cobble together enough votes to approve the plan, are set to vote Thursday on the replacement bill, CNN reported. The House cannnot have more than 21 defections if all Democrats decline to approve the plan.

Trymp said the unspecified changes were "frankly very little."

"I want people to know Obamacare is dead. It's a dead healthcare plan," he said.

Trump appeared with committee members after the meeting.

"You're looking at some of the top conservatives in the House," Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told reporters. "We stand united today to move this forward for the American people."

Later Friday morning, at a meeting on veterans' affairs, Trump said it took 15 minutes into the discussion with the study committee members to change their mind.

But at least a dozen House Republicans did not attend the meeting with Trump and are still critical of the plan.

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian-leaning representative and a member of the committee, posted on Twitter: "Absolutely not true that conservatives have flipped to yes on the healthcare bill. It doesn't repeal Obamacare. It remains a disaster."

And the House Freedom Caucus, posting on Twitter, said: "The House Freedom Caucus still opposes the GOP replacement bill in its current form."

The caucus has about 40 members, thought it's unclear if all of them plan to vote against the bill.

Some conservatives have criticized the plan as being too similar to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Thursday is the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama signing it into law.

They said the federal government is too heavily involved in the healthcare system.

And moderate Republicans in the Senate say too many people would be deprived of insurance, including those covered by the expanded Medicaid under the ACA.

CNN reported that the plan is being reworked to allow states to impose work requirements for able-bodied adults on Medicaid.

And to appease moderates, tax credits would be increased for older Americans.

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