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Trump reiterates his call to repeal ACA immediately

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President Trump has called on the Senate GOP to simply repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and start work on an entirely new bill. His comments come in the wake of a weekend interview in which Sen. Susan Collins revealed that between eight and 10 GOP senators had “serious concerns” about the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday.

On Sunday Sen. Rand Paul (R-TX) said he did not believe that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have the votes to pass the revised draft of the bill. The Kentucky senator was hoping that his efforts would be sufficient to bring a number of conservative and moderate GOP senators on board.

Some conservative members like Paul still feel that the bill does not go far enough to repeal ObamaCare while a number of GOP moderates continue to have deep concerns about the cuts to Medicaid.

“Still deep cuts to Medicaid in Senate bill. Will vote no on MTP [motion to proceed]. Ready to work w/ GOP & Dem colleagues to fix flaws in ACA,” Collins tweeted on Thursday.

McConnell announced on Saturday that the Senate vote would be delayed to give Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) time to recover from surgery for a blood clot. While the delay may give McConnell more time to strike a deal with the rebel GOP senators, it also provides the Democrats with additional opportunities to reinforce their opposition to the BCRA.

Meanwhile two more Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, joined Paul and Collins last night to warn that they could not back the health care bill in its current form.

“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families,” Lee explained in a statement while Moran said he felt that the latest draft did not offer sufficient protections to people with pre-existing conditions. With 52 Republican senators and no support from the other side of the aisle, McConnell can only afford to lose two votes.

The Senate leader appeared to admit defeat on Monday night.

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said. Although he could in theory convince Lee and Moran to back the bill, he is also aware that more GOP senators could come out in opposition while McCain recuperates.

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