By ALAN FRAM
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump pressured Republicans Monday to approve the Senate’s wheezing health care bill, saying a showdown vote planned for this week is their “last chance to do the right thing” and erase the Obama law.
Trump’s prodding came a day before leaders say the Senate will vote on legislation shredding much of President Barack Obama’s health care law. Lacking the votes to push it through his chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., postponed one roll call last month and hasn’t yet announced exactly what version of the measure lawmakers would consider Tuesday.
Complicating McConnell’s hopes of drumming up last-minute support, Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich said Monday it would be a mistake for the Senate to move ahead Tuesday “and force a one-sided deal that the American people are clearly against.” Kasich’s stance could make it harder for wavering Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who’s criticized the measure’s Medicaid cuts, to vote for the measure.
In his statement, Kasich panned the bill for a lack of “bipartisanship, transparency or open dialogue.” He said Congress should take no action on recrafting the nation’s health care system until it can “step back from political gamesmanship and come together with a workable, bipartisan plan.”
Portman and other Republican senators were also being pounded from the White House.
“Republicans have a last chance to do the right thing on Repeal & Replace after years of talking & campaigning on it,” Trump tweeted Monday.
Trump’s contentious tone toward members of his own party underscored the high stakes as he tries winning Republican votes for a goal the GOP has trumpeted since the statute’s 2010 enactment. He planned to make formal remarks on the health care legislation later Monday.
Characteristic of his scattershot effort on his party’s health care drive, Trump also spent the morning tweeting insults at Democrats, the news media and his own…