President Donald Trump plans a “full-court press” as he begins an uphill battle to sell the Republicans’ long-awaited bill to repeal the landmark 2010 health care law.
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Cabinet secretaries and other administration officials plan to travel the nation and give interviews to local radio and television stations to promote the bill, which was introduced this week.
“We’re going to be aggressively . . . talking about the solution that we have for health care, both the need to repeal the current Obamacare system and the need to replace it with something that gives patients the choices and the costs that they need,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing.
Trump is traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday to talk about the bill, according to news reports.
On Wednesday, he met with conservative leaders about the bill, some of whom immediately opposed the legislation that was dubbed “Obamacare Lite” or “Obamacare 2.0.” Those in the meeting included David McIntosh of Club for Growth, Jim DeMint of Heritage, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, Mike Needham of Heritage Action and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots.
Trump had met Tuesday with the Republican House of Representatives whip team about selling the bill and has previously met with insurance executives, governors and attorneys general. He will speak to a group of lieutenant governors as well, Spicer said.
“We’re going to do something that’s great,” Trump said during the whip meeting. “And I am proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives. It follows the guidelines I laid out in my congressional address. . . . This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor and this will be a plan where you can choose your plan. And you know what the plan is. This is the plan.”
Pence participated in a slew of interviews Wednesday with conservative host Sean Hannity as well as local radio stations in Washington, D.C.; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Milwaukee; Cleveland; Pittsburgh; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Orlando, Florida.
Republican leaders hope to vote on the bill in the House, send it to the Senate and put it on Trump’s desk before Easter, though committee meetings on the bill’s details started off slowly earlier Wednesday.
“This is going to be a very, very aggressive, comprehensive approach to making sure that every American understands that there is a major problem and that we are here to fix it,” Spicer said.
Next week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to say how much the proposal will add to federal budget deficits and how many people could lose health insurance coverage.
“If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” Spicer said.