President Donald Trump has given his support to the health care bill presented by House Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.
The American Health Care Act was unveiled March 6. Trump was optimistic about the prospects for the proposal.
"I think we're going to have a tremendous success," Trump said at the White House March 7, Politico reported. "It's a complicated process, but actually it's very simple. It's called good health care."
The president spoke after a meeting with his House Deputy Whip Team.
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"So, we're going to do something that's great and I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives and encouraged by members of both parties," he added.
Trump pointed to the guidelines he had provided in his speech to Congress, noting that he believed the bill "will lower costs, expand choices, increase competition and ensure health care access for all Americans."
"It's a great bill, we're going to have tremendous -- I really believe we're going to have tremendous support," Trump added. "I'm already seeing the support not only in this room, I'm seeing it from everybody."
Reaction elsewhere was less positive.
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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price described the bill as a "work in progress."
Several powerful conservative organizations were openly critical. FreedomWorks termed the proposed legislation "ObamaCare-Lite," while Americans for Prosperity, backed by the influential Koch brothers, labeled it "ObamaCare 2.0."
"This is simply not a full repeal of Obamacare. It falls far short of the promises Republicans made to the American people in four consecutive federal elections," AFP President Tim Phillips told The Hill.
Some House Republicans also expressed their concerns.
"If it's a new federal plan, I do not like it because the federal government has shown itself unable to constrain itself when it comes to fiscal matters," said Republican Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia. "As a result, Medicare and Social Security are insolvent and our health system will be next."
Brat and a number of other Republican House members were joined in their opposition by Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.
Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who is Ways and Means Committee chairman and a joint author of the bill, defended it.
"As Republicans we have a choice," Brady told a press conference. "We can act now or we can keep fiddling around and squander this opportunity to repeal Obamacare and begin a new chapter for the American people."