During a meeting with conservatives on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump said that if the House healthcare bill fails, Republicans can wait another two years for a repeal and blame Democrats for Obamacare’s failure in the meantime, according to reports by CNN and Politico.
CNN reported that Trump told conservative groups about his backup plan to blame Democrats in an Oval Office meeting, citing unnamed “sources at the gathering.” Politico reported that Trump’s alternative plan involved waiting another two years for a repeal and blaming Democrats for the law’s failure.
Trump met with leaders of conservative groups as opposition mounted to the bill unveiled by the House this week. The President and his staff reportedly said they were open to negotiating on certain aspects of the legislation. CNN and Politico reported that meeting attendees said the White House seemed open to moving up the date for changing Medicaid from 2020 to 2018.
However, the administration defended the bill’s tax credits, which has been a big source of concern for conservatives. A source told CNN that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was “defensive” of the tax credits, and a meeting attendee told the Washington Post that Mulvaney gave an “impassioned” explanation of the credits’ necessity.
Trump also said at the meeting that he plans to campaign for the bill’s passage in red states with vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.
“Trump said he will have football stadium events in states where he won by 10-12 points and he is going to dare people to vote against him,” an unnamed source told CNN.