White House to Senate: Pass health bill now or else

Alex Brandon, File, Associated Press

FILE – In this July 24, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about healthcare, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. Trump tweeted Saturday, July 29 about his disappointments, particularly with China and its lack of action on the matter of North Korea. Trump tweeted that past American leaders have allowed China to make hundreds of billions a year in trade but that “they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.”

WASHINGTON — The White House stepped up demands Sunday for revived congressional efforts on health care and suggested senators cancel their entire summer break, if needed, to pass legislation after failed votes last week.

Aides said President Donald Trump is prepared in the coming days to end required payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act as part of a bid to let “Obamacare implode” and force the Senate to act.

It was all part of a weekend flurry of Trump tweets and other statements insisting the seven-year GOP quest to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement was not over.

“The president will not accept those who said it’s, quote, ‘Time to move on,'” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said. Those were the words used by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after the early Friday morning defeat of the GOP proposal.

Conway said Trump was deciding whether to act on his threat to end cost-sharing reduction payments, which are aimed at trimming out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people. “He’s going to make that decision this week, and that’s a decision that only he can make,” Conway said.

For seven years, Republicans have promised that once they took power, they would scrap Obama’s overhaul and pass a replacement. But that effort crashed most recently in the Senate Friday, and that’s when McConnell said it was time to focus on other policy matters.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate, where no Democrats voted for the GOP bill and three Republicans defected…

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