As President Donald Trump seeks to forge ahead with the replacement of Obamacare, a senior House Republican has publicly come out against him.
Trump told Republican congressmen Thursday that their choice is to either vote for the bill as it stands or allow Obamacare to remain in effect.
After seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2017
However, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said Friday he wants more changes and will not vote for the current proposal.
“Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue healthcare in America,” Frelinghuysen wrote in a statement released on his Facebook page.
“Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.”
“In addition to the loss of Medicaid coverage for so many people in my Medicaid-dependent state, the denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues,” he continued. “I remain hopeful that the American Health Care Act will be further modified. We need to get this right for all Americans.”
Three days ago, in a separate Facebook post, Frelinghuysen had been more optimistic about the bill.
“As I have stated, the current legislative proposal is not perfect. But it is moving in the right direction to provide quality, affordable health insurance for all Americans. The legislative process is continuing. I am actively reviewing the latest changes to the bill and expect continued improvements as it moves forward,” he wrote then.
The initial House proposal provoked a sharp response from conservative Republicans. After changes to the bill were made to address some of their concerns, moderates began to object to parts of the package. On Thursday night, Trump signaled an end to the back-and-forth and said he expected Congress to vote Friday.
“He’s tired of the drawn out negotiations. He’s tired of folks always coming up with better ideas, and nitpicking the bill as it is,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Friday. “This is not a politician. This is a businessman. And he thinks the time has come to a vote.”
Trump has indicated that he is eager to move on to tax reform once the issue of Obamacare is settled one way or the other.
— POLITICO (@politico) March 23, 2017
“He has other things he wants to do. Impatient is not the right word. Busy would be the right way to describe this president,” Mulvaney said. “He doesn’t want to spend the time for the next two, four, six, eight months, whatever it would take. That’s what it would take if you let the House go about its own business.”
Mulvaney said changes around the edges of the proposal would not be deal-breakers, but as far as wholesale overhauls, “The president has his offer on the table.”
On Friday, the House Rules Committee moved the proposal to the floor for a vote scheduled later in the day.
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