Thursday, September 23, 2021

Trump demands House Republicans vote on healthcare plan on Friday

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (L) walks with Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney (R) to a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 23 March 2017. The House of Representatives has yet to vote on the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Republican leadership has so far failed to secure enough votes to overcome opposition from Democrats and from within their own party. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Washington DC, Mar 23 (EFE).- The President of the United States on Thursday demanded that House Republicans vote on Friday on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

According to the Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump is prepared to leave the current healthcare system established by former US President Barack Obama in place if his bill does not gain enough support in Congress.

Mulvaney relayed the president’s ultimatum to Republican lawmakers, who gathered in the afternoon after having to postpone the vote on the bill scheduled for Thursday as they failed reach a consensus.

However, Trump has advised House Republicans that he will not negotiate further on the content of the new proposed healthcare act, known as the American Health Care Act.

“It’s time to vote,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told Fox News Network.

“As I mentioned, everybody is out there, going full court press and this is the opportunity for anyone who wants to see this done” Spicer added.

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) (shot through a window) walk to a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 23 March 2017. House leaders canceled a planned Thursday night vote on the American Health Care Act. EPA/SHAWN THEW

According to sources in Congress cited by The Hill, the White House has agreed to remove one of the fundamental demands made by the Freedom Caucus, an ultraconservative group of Republican lawmakers who are blocking a settlement on the plan.

Members of the Freedom Caucus are pushing for the White House to remove compulsory medical coverage of what are known as “essential benefits”, which among other things cover emergency assistance and maternity care.

However, more moderate Republicans have objected to roll-backs of Medicaid proposed by the Freedom Caucus, as well as their proposal to remove essential benefits.

The vote on the bill was previously scheduled for Thursday but the lack of consensus among conservatives has postponed the process.

Kevin McCarthy, who is in charge of the House voting schedule, said that the vote will be carried out on Friday instead, although a time was not specified.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare was one of Trump’s main election campaign promises, and has been a long-time goal for Republicans.