President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to say the crumbling Republican healthcare bill would improve by lunchtime and to attack Democrats for their defence of the Affordable Care Act.
“I will be having lunch at the White House today with Republican Senators concerning healthcare. They MUST keep their promise to America!” Trump tweeted.
In an attempt to revive the seemingly dead Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Trump invited the entire Senate Republican conference to the White House for a luncheon.
The BCRA collapsed Monday as moderates and conservatives said they would oppose the bill, leaving it without enough support to pass. A pivot to a repeal-only strategy, as opposed to the BCRA’s simultaneous repeal and replacement of Obamacare, also fell apart Tuesday after three GOP senators came out against the idea.
This is the second time that Trump has brought all GOP senators to the White House, and the first time as after the BCRA was originally stalled in late June.
Despite this, Trump said in a subsequent tweet that the lunch will be a fruitful one and took a shot at Democrats.
“The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime,” the president tweeted. “The Dems scream death as OCare dies!”
On Tuesday, Trump said his plan after the Republican failure was to “let Obamacare fail” and then force Democrats to the negotiating table.
According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, the Obamacare individual insurance exchanges are actually close to profitable for most participating insurance companies and are likely to stabilise unless Trump sabotages them.
Democrats have said the biggest threat to the future of the Obamacare markets is Trump himself, since he can stop critical cost-sharing reduction payments or direct the IRS to stop enforcing the individual mandate. Either move would be crippling to the marketplaces, experts say.