Trump hits Democrats for not join­ing ef­fort to fix health care law.

Push­ing for bill to get through be­fore re­cess

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY S.A. MILLER

Stand­ing with two fam­i­lies vic­tim­ized by Oba­macare, Pres­i­dent Trump shamed Democrats on Tues­day for not join­ing Repub­li­cans work­ing to fix the health care law that he called a “catas­tro­phe.”

It was part of an ag­gres­sive push to get a health care bill through the Se­nate this sum­mer and put Democrats on the spot for ham­string­ing the ef­fort.

“The Democrats have let you down big league,” the pres­i­dent said on the tar­mac af­ter ar­riv­ing in Air Force One in Mil­wau­kee, Wis­con­sin, where he met with the two fam­i­lies.

Mr. Trump re­peat­edly ham­mered con­gres­sional Democrats in re­cent days for be­ing “ob­struc­tion­ists” rather than help­ing re­pair the health care law or al­low hon­est de­bate of the rest of his agenda.

“Mil­lions of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies — and I mean mil­lions — con­tinue to suf­fer from Oba­macare while con­gres­sional Democrats ob­struct our ef­forts to res­cue them,” he said.

The GOP-run House passed a health care bill in May but the GOP-run Se­nate is draft­ing a new ver­sion be­hind closed doors.

It re­mains un­cer­tain how the two bills will be rec­on­ciled or whether they will need Demo­cratic votes to get it passed in the House, where rifts in the Re­pub­li­can con­fer­ence threaten the leg­is­la­tion.

Democrats passed Pres­i­dent Obama’s sig­na­ture health care law in 2010 with­out any Re­pub­li­can sup­port. Democrats have stead­fastly op­posed any ef­fort to re­write the law, al­though most ac­knowl­edge the ne­ces­sity of mak­ing some changes.

Their top lead­ers, how­ever, have said they will only help fix Oba­macare if Repub­li­cans agree in ad­vance to drop all ef­forts to re­peal it.

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Demo­crat, said Repub­li­cans were hid­ing the bill be­cause they were afraid of how Amer­i­cans would re­act to re­peal­ing Oba­macare ben­e­fits.

“We are in the midst of one of the great­est acts of leg­isla­tive mal­prac­tice Wash­ing­ton has ever seen. Se­nate Repub­li­cans are squir­reled away be­hind closed doors, writ­ing a bill they won’t let the pub­lic read,” he told re­porters. “They don’t want the Amer­i­can peo­ple to see how poorly they would do un­der this bill.”

The ef­fort to re­peal and re­place Oba­macare is at the front of the pres­i­dent’s agenda that is stuck in Congress, with tax re­form and an in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram piled up be­hind it.

Time is run­ning short to break the log­jam be­fore Congress’ sum­mer re­cess.

In Mil­wau­kee, Mr. Trump de­scribed the health in­sur­ance or­deal suf­fered by the two fam­i­lies:

Michael and Tammy Kush­man were forced from one in­surer to an­other, un­able to keep their doc­tors or their plans, as Mr. Obama had re­peat­edly promised with­out qual­i­fi­ca­tion dur­ing the cam­paign. Their monthly pre­mi­ums jumped from $600 to over $1,400.

Robert and Sarah Stoll were forced out of re­tire­ment to pay their bills and then pe­nal­ized by the Oba­macare law, stripped of sub­si­dies and com­pelled to re­pay thou­sands of dol­lars to the gov­ern­ment.

“These are sad but fa­mil­iar sto­ries in Wis­con­sin where Oba­macare pre­mi­ums have dou­bled,” he said. “Oba­macare is one of the great­est catas­tro­phes that our coun­try has singed into law and the vic­tims are in­no­cent hard-work­ing Amer­i­cans like Michael and Tammy, Robert and Sarah.”

Mr. Trump held a sim­i­lar event last week in Cincin­nati, Ohio, with two fam­i­lies strug­gling with Oba­macare.

Ear­lier at the White House, the pres­i­dent held a lunch meet­ing with 15 key Re­pub­li­can sen­a­tors, work­ing to build party unity be­hind the health care leg­is­la­tion.

“Oba­macare has been bro­ken and it’s a bro­ken prom­ise,” said Mr. Trump, list­ing the se­ries of Oba­macare’s bro­ken prom­ises.

“Amer­i­cans were told that if you liked your doc­tor, you’ll keep your doc­tor. That was a lie. They were told that if you liked your plan, you would keep your plan. That was a lie,” he said. “Amer­i­cans were told the pre­mi­ums would go down by $2,500 per year and in­stead their pre­mi­ums went up to lev­els that no­body thought even pos­si­ble.”

He said that Democrats’ new motto “re­sist” was fit­ting be­cause they had adopted a purely ob­struc­tion­ist stance.

Democrats wouldn’t pro­vide one vote if Repub­li­cans put up the best health care or tax cut bill in U.S. his­tory, Mr. Trump said.

He promised that the fi­nal leg­is­la­tion would be a “phe­nom­e­nal bill,” al­though he wouldn’t say when it would be ready.

He said the health care law be­ing drafted was “gen­er­ous, kind, with heart — that’s what I’m say­ing. We’ll come out with a real bill, not Oba­macare, and the re­sults are go­ing to be fan­tas­tic.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Trump, ac­com­pa­nied by Michael and Tammy Kush­man (left) and Robert and Sarah Stoll (right) says mil­lions of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies “suf­fer from Oba­macare” in a speech in Mil­wau­kee on Tues­day. He ac­cused con­gres­sional Democrats of be­ing ob­struc­tion­ist, even say­ing, “The Democrats have let you down big league.”

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