President Donald Trump suggested in an interview published Sunday that he is not yet done with his attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, despite the failure of his first attempt.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Trump said negotiations to repeal and replace Obamacare remained ongoing — and that if conservatives do not agree to a deal, then he would work with Democrats.
Trump said the decision to pull the American Health Care Act (AHCA) shortly before a planned vote was up to him and that it did not mean that a healthcare overhaul was dead.
“But that wasn’t a definitive day. They are negotiating as we speak,” Trump told the FT.
“I don’t know if you know. They are negotiating right now. There was no reason to take a vote. I said, ‘Don’t take a vote,’ and we will see what happens. But one way or the other, I promised the people great healthcare. We are going to have great healthcare in this country.”
The bill was pulled after many members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus opposed the bill, leaving the AHCA short of the votes needed to pass the House despite the GOP’s majority. Trump has since expressed a possible desire to work with more moderate members of the Democratic caucus.
Freedom Caucus members have expressed a desire to work out the kinks on healthcare, but Trump has repeatedly attacked the group on Twitter in recent days.
From the interview (emphasis added):
“Well I will get the Democrats if I go the second way. The second way, which I hate to see, then the Freedom Caucus loses so big and I hate to see that, because… our plan is going to be a very good plan. When I say our plan, not phase one just: phase one, two and three added up is a great plan. … If we don’t get what we want, we will make a deal with the Democrats and we will have in my opinion not as good a form of healthcare, but we are going to have a very good form of healthcare and it will be a bipartisan form of healthcare.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan told CBS in an interview Thursday that he wanted to get the Freedom Caucus on board with the AHCA or he worried Trump would “just go work with Democrats to try and change Obamacare.”
According to reports last week, Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon have been working behind the scenes to win over members of the Freedom Caucus.
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