Trump warned members of his party today they would suffer electoral defeats if they did not support the leadership’s plan to overhaul health care.
Living in the vacuum that he does, he made the threat knowing full well that about two thirds of American voters do not support the plan. In Trump’s world, where facts are a nuisance that should quickly be thrown aside and ignored, the only truth is his truth.
He laid out a direct threat to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). “I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to because I know you’ll vote yes.”
Meadows, a member of the hardline Freedom Caucus, believes they have enough votes to kill the plan. Others who have emerged as opposing the plan are Rep. Mike Lee of Utah, Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Idaho Republican Raul Labrador, who also opposes the House plan, said that Trump placed a lot of pressure of legislators, but he doesn’t believe the bill will receive enough votes.
“We don’t believe that they have 216 votes. In Fact, we know that they don’t have 216 votes,” Labrador said.
The Freedom Caucus has been lobbying the White House and the GOP leadership for changes in the legislation; they do not believe the current bill goes far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, the Republican leadership has signaled they have no intention of making further modifications.
The test for Trump, and one he may fail, is translating his business negotiating skills into political negotiating skills, which generally do not work well when coming with a threat.
Meadows said he isn’t taking Trump’s threats too seriously. “I didn’t take anything he said as threatening anybody’s political future.”
Meanwhile, Republican governors are warning lawmakers the House proposal would leave many in their states without health coverage and shift the financial burden from the federal government to the states.
Rick Snyder, the Republican governor of Michigan said, “While reforming the nation’s health care system is vital, it is imperative that gains in health coverage and access to care are maintained.” He said, the two “are not mutually exclusive.”