President Donald Trump has acknowledged that a recent analysis of the American Health Care Act, the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," would not benefit his voters the way he had promised on the campaign trail.
The president stated that the bill is a rough draft and that he would not sign a finalized version that did not be beneficial for his base.
On March 15, Trump sat down for an interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, who noted that a recent analysis of the AHCA found that it includes a tax cut for investors that would largely benefit Americans making over $250,000 annually and that it would heavily favor countries that backed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"A Bloomberg analysis showed that counties that voted for you, middle class and working-class counties, would do far less well under this bill than the counties that vote for Hillary, the more affluent counties," Carlson said.
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"Yeah, well I know that," Trump responded.
When the news anchor asked if this was consistent with Trump's campaign promises on health care, the president asserted that the legislation is "going to be negotiated."
"We've got to go to the Senate," Trump continued. "We're going to see what happens in the Senate."
The president then asserted that any changes made to the AHCA would come from Republican lawmakers "because we're not going to get one Democrat to vote for it."
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Trump concluded "We will take care of our people or I'm not signing it."
On March 14, an analysis by Bloomberg found that both the tax cut for investors and a Medicare tax cut on wages would largely favor counties that did not support Trump during the election. They found that while the AHCA would save counties that had backed Clinton $21.9 billion in taxes annually, counties that had voted for the president would only receive a windfall of $6.6 billion.
On March 10, an analysis conducted by the Upshot based on data from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that individual Trump voters would be more negatively impacted by the AHCA. Among the voters who would lose over $7,500 in subsidies under the Republican plan, 58 percent had voted for Trump, while 39 percent had supported Clinton, according to The New York Times.
On March 13, the Congressional Budget Office released an estimate of how the AHCA would impact the U.S. healthcare market. They found that roughly 24 million more Americans would be without healthcare by 2026 if lawmakers pass the bill in its current form than if they kept the ACA in place.
The CBO estimate incited alarm among GOP lawmakers.
"It's awful," said Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. "It has to be a concern. President Trump said he wanted as many people covered as under Obamacare."
While both Trump and the House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had spent the last week urging GOP lawmakers to pass the AHCA as swiftly as possible, they have signaled more openness to changing the healthcare bill in the wake of the CBO score.
On March 15, Ryan stated that the legislation would likely change but that its core components would largely remain the same.
"Now that we have our score from the CBO... we've got room to make refinements," Ryan told Fox Business. "Obviously, the major components are staying intact because this is something we wrote with President Trump, this is something we wrote with the Senate committees."