US health care vote postponed, blow to Trump

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Donald Trump’s bid to repeal and replace the Obamacare health policy has suffered a setback as his administration failed to garner enough support for it, prompting the US President to issue an ultimatum to his fellow Republicans to back the move.

The vote to repeal and replace Obamacare was initially scheduled for last night. However, in the absence of a majority, House Speaker Paul Ryan has now pushed it for today.

Image courtesy: CNN.com

It could even happen on Monday.

The message was communicated through the White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.

Mulvaney warned that if the legislation fails to pass through the Congress, Trump would move ahead with his other priorities.

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“We have to have a vote tomorrow. He expects it to pass, but he’s moving on if for some reason, it didn’t,” Congressman Chris Collins from New York told reporters.

In a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers, Trump warned his partymen to leave Obamacare in place unless they pass the legislation to repeal and replace it, according to news reports.

“Disastrous #Obamacare has led to higher costs & fewer options. It will only continue to get worse! We must #RepealANDReplace. #PassTheBill,” Trump said in a tweet.

The White House said the people of the country were waiting for the political leadership to fulfill the promise made in the election campaign.

“The American people will be counting on to fulfill their promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare by supporting this bill,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

He said the bill has truly been a collaborative effort from the beginning.

“Through an open and deliberative process, the President and his team have helped to negotiate a very, very strong bill,” he said.

“The amendments that have been incorporated add important aspects to the bill, like removing costly essential health benefit insurance regulations, repealing Obamacare taxes immediately, starting in 2017, reforming Medicaid by allowing states to accept funding as a block grant to implement able-bodied work requirements and blocking states from receiving enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages if they expanded during the transition,” Spicer said.

In a meeting with truckers at the White House, Trump said the Obamacare had inflected great pain on American truckers.

“Many of you were forced to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. You experienced a crippling rise in premiums, and a dramatic loss in options. And you just take a look at what’s happened to the costs, and it’s incredible,” he said.

“You know the problems. And it’s put a lot of the trucking businesses out of business, which is pretty tough,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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