President Donald Trump started Friday off with a Twitter tirade aimed at the conservative House Freedom Caucus as Republicans prepare for an uncertain vote on their healthcare legislation.
“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” tweeted Trump.
Republicans delayed a vote on the GOP leadership’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, because the party did not have enough votes to pass the bill.
The House Freedom Caucus, whose members argue that the AHCA does not go far enough in its repeal of Obamacare. The holdouts from the Freedom Caucus appeared to have enough votes to block the passage of the bill on Thursday.
The AHCA does pull funding from Planned Parenthood, but the Freedom Caucus’ main issue is that other regulation from Obamacare will stay in place under the AHCA.
GOP leadership spent much of Thursday attempting to compromise on the bill to get the Freedom Caucus and others on board. Trump, who House Speaker Paul Ryan called the “closer,” met multiple times with the Freedom Caucus over the past two days and has been unable to sway their votes.
Trump also appeared to appeal directly to the American people, arguing that the AHCA is the best chance that the US has to overhaul the healthcare system.
“After seven horrible years of Obamacare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!” Trump tweeted.
Health policy analysts have predicted that deductibles would rise under the AHCA, while plans would generally cover fewer health issues.
Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office projected that premiums would increase for two years after the AHCA’s passage and then come in lower than the baseline thereafter. The CBO also projected 24 million more people would be without health insurance in the 10 years after the AHCA is passed compared to the current system.
Trump issued an ultimatum to GOP lawmakers on Thursday night, saying that they needed to pass the AHCA on Friday or Obamacare would stay in place. A vote is expected later today.