WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald J. Trump (L) shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) as he arrives to deliver an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Saturday the current efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are going smoothly.
“We are making great progress with healthcare. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done!" the president tweeted.
The tweet came just two days after Trump delivered a similar message on Twitter, writing on March 9, “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!”
Trump’s confidence in Republicans’ current health care reform efforts seems to contradict the numerous reports that have surfaced over the past week suggesting many Republican congressmen and think tanks are staunchly opposed to the House GOP leadership’s proposed Obamacare replacement, the American Health Care Act.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) called the bill “a stinking pile of garbage” and said he believes the “bill will fail.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on Thursday on Twitter the “health-care bill can’t pass Senate w/o major changes. To my friends in House: pause, start over. Get it right, don’t get it fast.”
Cotton later added, “What matters in long run is better, more affordable health care for Americans, NOT House leaders’ arbitrary legislative calendar.”
In an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the AHCA is “Obamacare lite” and would incentivize young, healthy people to stay out of the private health insurance marketplace. Paul also told Cavuto he believes congressmen are “very, very divided” on how to replace the ACA.
The Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Prosperity, among many other conservative groups, have also said they do not support the AHCA in its current form.
Trump’s claim about the alleged “great progress” being made on health care reform came just a few days after Trump hosted influential conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the White House on Wednesday night. Reports issued by The Hill and Newsmax suggest Trump planned on soliciting Cruz’s help in promoting the AHCA to conservative members of the Senate.
Cruz has reportedly said he has “serious concerns about the House bill as drafted.”
The AHCA sailed through its first two obstacles on Thursday, gaining the approval of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee along party-lines.
The legislation’s next hurdle will be the House Budget Committee. If it passes there, it will then be considered by the full Congress.
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Justin Haskins is the director of the Socialism Research Center at the Heartland Institute and the co-author of the New York Times best-seller "Dark Future: Uncovering the Great Reset’s Terrifying Next Phase."