Trump cel­e­brates health vote win

Cape Breton Post - - World -

Declar­ing it “an un­be­liev­able vic­tory,’’ President Don­ald Trump de­layed his first trip home to New York as president to cel­e­brate House pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion un­do­ing much of for­mer President Barack Obama’s health law, a top cam­paign prom­ise and a long-sought GOP goal.

Trump cel­e­brated with ju­bi­lant Repub­li­cans at the White House Thurs­day for a hastily called press con­fer­ence to ex­ult in the pas­sage of their re­place­ment health care bill, which squeaked by the House 217-213.

Trump saluted the bill as “a great plan and I think it will get even bet­ter,’’ say­ing more than once — “Make no mis­take: this is a re­peal and re­place of Oba­macare.’’

Repub­li­cans bused in from Capi­tol Hill for the vic­tory lap, an un­usu­ally early cel­e­bra­tion for the pas­sage of a bill through just one house of Congress. The leg­is­la­tion, which faces sharp Demo­cratic op­po­si­tion, now heads to the Se­nate where it faces an un­cer­tain fate.

But Trump said he was “so con­fi­dent’’ that the mea­sure would pass the Se­nate and vowed that pre­mi­ums and de­ductibles would come down.

“Peo­ple are suf­fer­ing so badly with the rav­ages of Oba­macare,’’ said Trump, whose West Wing staff was ea­ger for the ap­pear­ances of a vic­tory after an un­even first 100 days in of­fice. A joy­ous Trump at one point even turned to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives lined up be­hind him and, sug­gest­ing the vic­tory was es­pe­cially im­pres­sive for a novice politi­cian, ex­claimed “Hey, I’m president! I’m president! Can you be­lieve it?!’’

House lead­ers came through with the votes to give Trump a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal win more than a month after Repub­li­cans’ first at­tempt to pass a health care bill went down in a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat. House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose lead­er­ship was ques­tioned when the first bill failed, cau­tioned that the pas­sage was “just one step but an im­por­tant step’’ and sug­gested that the “stakes are just too high’’ for the bill to fail in the Se­nate.

The bill, known as the Amer­i­can Health­care Act, has yet to re­ceive a price tag from the non-par­ti­san Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice and has been op­posed by a num­ber of physi­cian and health care groups, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion amid con­cerns it could strip mil­lions of Amer­i­cans of their cov­er­age, in­clud­ing those with pre-ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions.

AP PHOTO

U.S. President Don­ald Trump talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., in the Rose Gar­den of the White House in Washington, Thurs­day after the House pushed through a health care bill.

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