Close Trump ally says health care an "open wound" among GOP lawmakers

Last week's episode offers a few lessons for the Republican Party: Conservative commentator Reihan Salam suggested the "mad dash" to draft the GOP health-care bill wound up "alienating Freedom Caucus members who wanted to play an active role in shaping it".

Just four days after House Speaker Paul Ryan declared Obamacare the "law of the land", House Republicans say they're moving forward with their plan to repeal and replace the health care law despite the divisions in their party on how to reform the health insurance market. "That's going to require some answers from the Freedom Caucus", said centrist Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa. The fact that Republicans didn't confirms that such an overhaul requires the time and patience Trump and Co. haven't been willing - or able - to spare.

One Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said Trump got bad advice "from some in leadership who said that some of us should not even exist up here". The group counted 36 members in 2015, according to Pew Research Center.

"What the ACA [Affordable Care Act] has done to participants in the individual healthcare marketplace continues to be a great problem for many Americans, and therefore, I believe this bill will come back to the floor in a way that bridges philosophical gaps and stays true to the deliberative process so vital in producing good legislation", said Rep. Mark Sanford. He is a Navy veteran and also a medical doctor who understood the issues with the President's repeal plan, which was dubbed by the conservatives as "Obamacare Light". The Freedom Caucus will not go along but supporters of those lawmakers are likely more concerned with truly affordable health care than ideology.

Poe said he doesn't think there was anything that could have been added to the bill that would have resulted in the Freedom Caucus supporting it.

The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, whatever you want to call it, can not implode.

Members of the hard-right wing of the conference seemed committed to not move on from health care.

Vice President Mike Pence also took pains to praise Mr. Ryan over the weekend in a speech in West Virginia as the White House circled the wagons.

AP SPIN METER: Was Trump joking on health care?
So, it's fair to assume many fiscally conservative Republicans would demand budget cuts to make up for any decrease in revenue. Neither of these facts seemed to exercise the White House, at least not enough to try to do anything to fix them.

The right course for Trump and congressional Republicans following their decisive defeat would be to ensure that the system created by President Barack Obama is properly overseen, for the sake of the millions who depend on it.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting at the White House on Monday.

"In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward".

"The president never called us once about this", top Senate Democrat Charles Schumer said on ABC.

The health care strategizing comes as the GOP has one clear bright spot: Trump's nomination of conservative appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week", the NY senator says: "We never said it was ideal".

"I think it's best for me - and even for the caucus - that I not be a member of the Freedom Caucus". Instead, after a colossal loss where Ryan was unable to get his own party to toe the line to repeal Obamacare, Ryan is facing a completely uncertain future.

"We think there's a win-win in there", Brat said. In addition, although Ryan is fairly new to his current position, Trump could reasonably believe the Speaker's assessment of what his caucus would, with some arm-twisting, agree to. We're going get to yes.


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