President Trump has been working overtime trying to convince skeptical conservatives in Congress that the American Health Care Act is not just a revised version of Obamacare. On Wednesday, he hosted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his wife for dinner. On Thursday, he treated the House Freedom Caucus to rounds of bowling and pizza. Through all the wining and dining, Trump has been listening to his guests’ concerns and noted he’s willing to make some compromises.
The end result will be a beautiful thing to behold, Trump tweeted on Thursday.
Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2017
Yet, the Freedom Caucus is not painting so rosy a picture. It would be a “faulty assumption” to assume conservatives are going to be pushovers on the GOP’s Obamacare replacement, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said on Friday.
Of particular concern to some conservatives is the expansion of Medicaid and what they perceive as a new entitlement program. Meadows also noted that the bill itself says it “amends” Obamacare, as opposed to “repeals.”
The bill has been making its way through Congress despite the wary conservative caucus. After hours of markups, it passed both the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. It's next on its way to the Budget committee.
Trump hosted a meeting with some House committee members on Friday, where he commended them for their “good job.”
The House bill, Trump said while reading from a prepared statement, will cut taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars, eliminate Obamacare mandates, give states flexibility in how Medicaid dollars are spent and allow individual Americans to choose which plans are right for them.
The legislation, however, needs to distance itself from Obamacare even more if the Freedom Caucus is going to come on board.