The four Republican senators who have announced their opposition to Senate legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare are “four good guys and they’re four friends of mine,” President Donald Trump said in an interview that aired Friday morning, striking an optimistic tone for the prospects of the controversial bill.
“I think that they’ll probably get there. We’ll have to see,” Trump said Friday in an interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that was taped a day earlier. “I think we’re going to get there. We have four very good people that – it’s not that they’re opposed. They would like to get certain changes. And we’ll see if we can take care of that.”
The four lawmakers – Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) – announced together on Thursday that they could not support the repeal-and-replace legislation as written, but all left open to some extent the possibility that they could end up backing the bill with some changes.
Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate, can afford to lose the support of just two members and still have their healthcare bill pass, potentially with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence. The legislation is almost certain to receive no Democratic support.
Should the Senate successfully pass its repeal-and-replace proposal, it would move Congressional Republicans and the president one step closer to making good on a campaign promise to undo Obamacare. The House passed its own legislation to do so last month, although Senate Republicans opted to craft their own legislation that would have to be melded with the House version before making its way to the president’s desk.
Trump told Fox News that successful healthcare reform is a policy goal that has eluded his predecessors, noting that the administration of former President Bill Clinton was unable to accomplish it and Obamacare, the signature legislation of former President Barack Obama, has “failed” and it “virtually out of business.”
“You know, healthcare is a very difficult situation. If you look, the Clintons tried to get it and after years and years they couldn’t do it. Obamacare was murder for them to get, and now it’s failed.” he told Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt. “Well, I’ve done in five months what other people haven’t done in years. People have worked on healthcare for many years. It’s a very complicated situation from the standpoint you do something that’s good for one group but bad for another. It’s that very, very narrow path.”