Trump issues ultimatum to strong-arm House Republicans into supporting AHCA

President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to slam the group of far-right conservatives whose refusal to back the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) is standing in the way of the bill passing the House.

Trump also issued an ultimatum to them, threatening House Republican that if they do not vote to pass the bill on Friday, he will leave Obamacare in place.

The frustrated threat and Twitter outburst comes after Thursday’s vote was delayed by GOP leaders for fear that the bill would be struck down.

Those presenting the bill had been engaged in frantic negotiations and amendment offers that, in the end, failed to appease fringe party conservatives, backed by the House Freedom Caucus, who believe that the AHCA does not go far enough in repealing the healthcare provisions put in place by former President Barack Obama.

During the negotiations, House leaders considered a compromise that would do away with ‘Essential Health Benefits,’ which include maternity and newborn care, addiction treatment, prescription drugs, emergency room visits, and medical services for children.

Trump even met in-person with 30 members of the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday morning to try and win them over. In the end, without the president drumming up enough support, the vote was put on hold.

Currently, the AHCA divides Congress along partisan lines. All Democrats stand in opposition to the bill, which would override their own party’s healthcare legislation.

However, it’s the fracture in Republicans, that would cause AHCA’s defeat. The bill can only afford up to 22 Republicans to defect. Estimates right now say up to 30 Republicans are against it.

A vote on Friday could again fail, but Trump appears ready to put it all on the line in an infuriated bid to force concession and support. It will be clear soon, however, just how effective or damaging a pressure tactic it is to publicly call-out those whose support he requires.

Update 8:28am CT, March 24: A vote is expected to happen this afternoon.

David Gilmour

David Gilmour

David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.