Trump facing rebellion over healthcare reforms

President Donald Trump has issued an ultimatum to his Republican party, calling on them to back his healthcare reforms that repeal and replace “Obamacare” or see the legislation dumped.

Trump reportedly made the demand behind closed doors last night after a vote on his American Health Care Act was delayed because of opposition from rebel Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Although the Republicans have a majority in the house, the legislation has split the party, with the hard-right conservative Freedom Caucus opposed because the legislation does not undo enough of Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

It’s not clear whether Trump’s latest plans include proposals to attack pharma pricing – the president said early this week that this was a possibility – but given the short time period since his comments, this looks unlikely.

According to reports, the president lost patience with the lack of progress on the bill yesterday and has decided to vote and move on, whatever the result.

Trump’s reforms include refundable tax credits to help people get insurance if they don’t have it through their job, and the removal of the legal requirement for Americans to have insurance.

Other proposals include block grants from the Federal government for state Medicaid schemes, covering the poorest members of society.

This will replace current arrangements where Federal funding matches Medicaid spend on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of former president Barrack Obama signing his Affordable Care Act into law, and congressman Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said Trump had set himself an “artificial deadline” to repeal Obamacare.

Other reports suggest Trump has come to regret making the repeal of Obamacare such a priority.

Trying to force the legislation through will be a massive gamble for the president, and will call into question his ability to enact his other campaign pledges.

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