WASHINGTON, D.C.-- It's one hurdle down, another to go for the new legislation that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows, defending the new Republican-backed health care plan.
"It may not help the government, it may not help insurance companies, but it's a huge benefits to patients," Sec. Price explained. The House handed President Trump a major win in Congress Thursday, with a narrow victory to start repealing and replacing Obamacare. The legislation may have cleared the House, but it's unlikely to receive a warm welcome at its next stop: the Senate.
Some Senators have already said they plan to start from scratch, writing their own, new health care plan. Others plan to work with the version approved in the House. Either way, Republicans need at least 50 of their 52 Senators on board the new plan if the American Health Care Act is going to pass.
President Donald Trump remains hopeful. "We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident," he told fellow Republicans and journalists attending the Rose Garden ceremony Thursday, after the House passed the bill. Trump reinforced that position today on Twitter, writing, "Republican Senators will not let the American people down!" Adding, "Obamacare was a lie and is dead!"
Some critics of the health care plan say its proposed cuts to Medicaid funding go against the President's own words during the campaign. On June 16, 2015, shortly after announcing his candidacy, Trump told a crowd of supporters he would "save Medicare, save Medicaid, and Social Security without cuts." "Have to do it," he told them, "Get rid of the fraud. Get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it. People have been paying it for years. And now many of those candidates want to cut it."
Secretary Price answered to those criticisms, saying the current Medicaid program has problems, but that the new health care bill aims to fix them.