President Trump is pressuring conservative Congressmen who are opposed to his health care bill. The “repeal and replace” response to Obamacare, which retains many of the elements of that program, is facing a vote on Thursday.
The president says that representatives who vote “no” may not get re-elected. He said that he would campaign for those who vote “yes.”
This time President Trump is on the same side as Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who are usually branded as the “establishment” by Trump supporters. Still wanting a government role in health care, the GOP leadership is also leaning on bill opponents, implying that they might face primary opposition if they do not get on board. But they have also added “sweeteners” to win more votes.
While conservative Republicans, especially members of the “freedom caucus,” oppose the government’s continued involvement in citizen’s health care decisions, liberal Democrats object to any changes at all to Obamacare.
The vote will be close. Some 20-25 House Republicans either oppose the bill or are undecided. Trump can only afford to lose 21.
UPDATE: Conservative organizations, some of which distribute campaign money, are threatening supporters of the bill, saying that a “yes” vote will brand lawmakers to be insufficiently conservative to earn their support. The health care bill is shaping up to be the first major policy conflict between Trump and conservatives.