It would seem that President Trump’s powers of persuasion are no force for a unified caucus who knows one of its prime reasons for being is to effectively repeal Obamacare.
The House Freedom Caucus met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday and, despite changes made to the American Health Care Plan originally introduced in the House, were markedly unswayed.
Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI), was clearly unmoved.
"Nothing has changed" says Rep. Amash when asked if white house visit won over Freedom Caucus on the health care bill.
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) March 22, 2017
Freedom Caucus chair, Mark Meadows, indicated that nothing short of scrapping the AHCA and starting over would induce him to change his mind on the House’s plan.
In contrast, several Republican House members have flipped their vote from no to yes on the AHCA. Rep. Lou Barletta (R – PA) is among them after gaining assurances illegal immigrants will not be eligible to receive the health care tax credit that is a major feature of the bill. How illegal residents would receive said credit while not legally being able to work — or pay taxes — in the U.S. is unclear.
The Freedom Caucus insists that Speaker Ryan and the Republicans do not have the votes to pass the bill as it stands. A group of Republican senators has also said they hope the House doesn’t vote on the AHCA citing the same reasoning and insisting the bill is dead in the water if the House sends it to the Senate.
It is still a stunning phenomenon to consider the fact that Republicans had seven years to formulate a plan and create a bulwark against the Democrats to repeal Obamacare and they present America with this unacceptable clunker. It’s a true testament to how the 2016 election and the rise of Trumpism have killed the resolve for Republicans to follow through on their main campaign promise: A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The House is scheduled to vote on the AHCA bill on Thursday. All eyes will be watching.