If Trump loses on Obamacare, tax reform gets harder

GOP health care repeal effort

If President Trump cannot get Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, then other major components of Trump’s legislative agenda could be in jeopardy.

"The sequencing here was intentional. They wanted to start with healthcare because if they removed the taxes from the Obamacare plan, it was going to free up an additional $1 trillion they could apply to tax reform. Now they won't have that likely,” said Matt Mackowiak, Potomac Strategy Group and chairman of the Travis County Republican Party.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was a staple of President Trump’s campaign. Congressional Republicans have run on that same promise for seven years.

"Look, the agenda is imperiled right now. We've never seen a president without major legislative accomplishments this late into their new term. We just haven't seen that," Mackowiak added.

Republicans are now considering a vote next week to only repeal Obamacare, not replace it.

Still, the Congressional Budget Office predicted on Wednesday afternoon that alone would increase premiums by 25 percent and leave 32-million more people uninsured in the next decade.

Republicans voted 60 times to repeal Obamacare, when Barack Obama was president, knowing he would veto it.

Now, with a Republican president in office, the GOP has failed at two attempts this year to change the law.

"I'm sitting in that office, I have a pen in hand. You've never had that before. For seven years, you had an easy route, we'll repeal, we'll replace, and he's never going to sign it. But I'm signing it,” said President Trump today in a roundtable meeting with Republican senators.

In an interview for WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics on Sunday, Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was asked whether his party has reached out to the White House to look for a bipartisan solution now.

"Senator [Chuck] Schumer has said on repeated occasions: ‘Do what President Obama did. Bring all 100 senators over to the White House and let's talk about this.’ Once again, President Trump summoned the Republican members but not the Democrats," Perez told WFAA.

He said his party remains sidelined as Trump and the GOP are desperate for wins but still unable to put their biggest political promise in play.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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