President Donald Trump points to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., during a meeting Wednesday with Republican senators at the White House. Trump jokingly said Heller needs to vote yes on repealing the Affordable Care Act if he wants to keep his job. Pool Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo
July 19 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday had a lunchtime meeting with Republican senators over healthcare reform -- urging on Twitter they must "keep their promise" by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Trump's remarks come as he advocates for congressional Republicans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's signature health law, also called Obamacare.
Trump said the healthcare bill drafted by Senate Republicans would improve after discussions during Wednesday's lunch meeting, adding that Democrats are resisting the GOP's efforts as the ACA fails.
"They MUST keep their promise to America!" Trump wrote on Twitter earlier. "The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime.The Dems scream death as OCare dies!"
To boost efforts to pass the healthcare bill, Trump called Sen. Mike Lee after an attempt to repeal only failed on Tuesday to keep pushing a repeal of the ACA. Lee, R-Utah, had voiced opposition to Senate Republicans' healthcare bill, which led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to abandon efforts to pass the legislation on Monday.
Trump jokingly told Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., so far an opponent to the GOP reform effort, at Wednesday's meeting that he needs to vote yes on the measure if he wants to keep his job.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas also said they would vote against the bill. McConnell said he would focus on simply repealing the ACA instead.
A day later, McConnell's attempt to repeal the ACA -- and come up with a replacement later -- also failed to receive necessary support.
"The Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60," Trump tweeted. "8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!"
The president said he was disappointed because Republicans have not been able to remove the ACA as law despite a majority in Congress.
"I am disappointed because for so many years I've been hearing repeal and replace," Trump said. "I'm sitting in the Oval Office right next door, pen in hand, waiting to sign something, and I'll be waiting, and eventually we're going to get something done and it's going to be very good."