It appears as if Donald Trump‘s administration isnt ready to give up on healthcare just yet.
On Sunday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Senate Republicans should not move forward with any new votes until a healthcare repeal or replacement bill is passed, insisting it wouldnt be acceptable for the GOP to fail to follow through on such a longstanding promise to its base.
In the White House’s view, they can’t move on in the Senate, Mulvaney told CNNs Jake Tapper on Sunday morning. In the peoples view, they shouldnt move on in the Senate. They should stay and work and figure out a way to solve this problem. Keep in mind, youre talking about something theyve promised to do for seven years. You can’t promise folks you’re going to do something for seven years, and then not do it.
— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2017
Contrary to Mulvaney’s remark that “the people” want action on healthcare, all the proposals that congressional Republicans have put forward so far have been massively unpopular, with some polling below 20 percent approval, an almost unheard-of figure in themodern age of hyper-polarized politics.
Thecomments also echoed those of Trump, albeit in a more diplomatic tone. On Saturday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the GOP Senates skinny repeal bill failed in a dramatic floor vote, Trump tweeted that Republicans would be total quitters to give up on health care now.
Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
Trump continued the pep talk on Sunday morning.
Don't give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace…and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State Lines & more.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2017
Mulvaney also confirmed that the White Houses official position is that no other votes should occur before healthcare, even if a bill isnt passed by the time the debt ceiling needs to be raised. In other words, the administration is arguing that the U.S. should go into default rather than move on from healthcare. After the Obamacare repeal failed early Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was time for his party to move on from trying to reform healthcare.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also weighed in on the healthcare process on Sunday, tellingFox News Sundaythat Trump is currently considering whether to halt crucialpayments to insurance companies that have been integral to Obamacare. Known as Cost Sharing Reduction payments, or CSRs for short, the federal government halting such payouts would have a damaging effect on the overall health of the law, as well as the ability of low-income Americans to receive care.
Many Democrats and progressives fear such a move, insisting that Trump and the GOP might try to deliberately sabotage Obamacare, forcing its failure in order to reap political advantage. For Trump’s part, at least, he hasn’t been particularly shy about wanting to see the American healthcare system fail; he’s repeatedlysaidthat the best political strategy would be to “let Obamacare implode,”as recently as Friday.