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Trump embraces GOP Obamacare replacement: ‘Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill’

·Senior Writer
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President Trump is praising the Republican-proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law better known as Obamacare.

“Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday. “ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast!”

The bill, released by House Republicans on Monday night, repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate and most of the taxes the law imposed. But the plan, dubbed the “American Health Care Act,” retains two popular features of the ACA: one requiring insurance companies to insure people with preexisting conditions, and another allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 years old.

The White House had previously issued a slightly more hesitant endorsement of the bill, saying that Monday’s legislation “marks an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people.”

But supporters of the Obamacare replacement law are likely eyeing the part of Trump’s tweet saying the bill is now open to “review and negotiation.”

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Repealing and replacing Obamacare has been the top priority for the GOP-controlled Congress — and near the top of Trump’s long list of campaign promises.

“Obamacare is collapsing,” Trump said during his address to Congress last week, “and we must act decisively to protect all Americans.”

“Today House Republicans are answering President Trump’s call to action with legislation to repeal this failing law,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said in a statement Monday night. “Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the American people. We dismantle Obamacare’s damaging taxes and mandates so states can deliver quality, affordable options based on what their patient populations need, and workers and families can have the freedom and flexibility to make their own health care choices.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the proposed replacement goes too far.

“This bill sends a loud and clear message: tax cuts for special interests and the wealthy matter more than your health care,” Wyden said in a statement.

But in a sign of the legislative fight still to come, some Republicans — including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. — say the bill doesn’t go far enough.

“This is Obamacare lite,” Paul said on “Fox & Friends.” “It will not pass. Conservatives aren’t gonna take it.”

Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, said Trump is completely behind the bill.

“The president is all in on it,” Mulvaney said on “Fox & Friends.”

Trump, who was apparently watching the morning show, continued to tweet about the legislation Tuesday morning.

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On the “Today” show, Mulvaney said comparisons of the newly unveiled plan to Obamacare are unfair.

“I don’t think it’s fair to want to compare what we’re proposing … to what Obamacare might have been. You have to compare it to what Obamacare is, and it’s a failure,” Mulvaney said. “By that comparison, this program is going to be a great success.”

At his daily briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump fully endorses the new bill.

“This is the plan the president ran on,” Spicer said. “This is the Obamacare replacement that everyone has been asking for.”

Spicer also boasted that page count of the new plan is far less than that of the Affordable Care Act.

“Our plan is only 66 pages long,” Spicer said, pointing to a table set printouts of both plans for comparison.

“Our bill, which is a tenth of the size, does repeal and replace,” Spicer said.

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