Society

Trump Calls Obamacare 'Death,' Tells GOP To Act

| by Jordan Smith
Donald TrumpDonald Trump

President Donald Trump described Obamacare as "death" July 24 during an appearance at the White House with families he said were victims of the 2010 health care legislation.

Trump's remarks came a day ahead of a planned Senate vote to begin debate on a Republican bill to overhaul the health care system, according to NBC News.

The president labeled Obamacare a "meaningless promise."

"Obamacare has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hard-working Americans," he said, according to NBC.

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He also took aim at Democrats, blaming them for failing to cooperate with Republicans in Congress.

"They say death, death, death," Trump added. "Well, Obamacare is death. That's the one that's death."

But he also had a warning for Republicans.

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"Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling Americans that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare," said Trump

The Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning they can only afford to lose two votes if they are to pass legislation that will repeal Obamacare. The GOP may only be able to afford losing one vote if Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has announced that he has brain cancer, is unable to return to the Senate for the vote.

"Democrats aren't giving us one vote," added Trump, "so we need virtually every single vote from Republicans."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear that a Senate vote will take place in the coming days, even though it remains unclear whether Republicans will be voting on a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare or merely to do away with it.

"We're going to vote on a motion to proceed to the bill next week," said McConnell. "It's pretty obvious we've had difficulty in getting 50 votes to proceed but what I want to disabuse any of you of is the notion that we will not have a vote next week."

McConnell is expected to move a procedural motion to open debate on the health care bill passed by the House in May on July 25. If he secures enough votes to begin debate, he would then introduce an amendment changing the bill under discussion. The House bill is not expected to be put to a vote, according to The New York Times.

However, McConnell may not even have the chance to introduce the amendment if Republicans refuse to back the procedural motion to begin debate. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is expected to vote against starting debate, while republican Sens. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Arkansas have said they will vote against if McConnell plans to introduce an amendment that would repeal Obamacare without an alternative being in place.

Sources: NBC News, The New York Times / Photo credit: Jim Mattis/Flickr, The White House/Flickr, Denali National Park and Preserve/Flickr

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