As five Republicans have come out in opposition to the current GOP health care bill, President Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News on Sunday expressed optimism that the Senate will pass the plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
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“I don’t think they’re that far off -- you know, famous last words -- but I think we are going to get there,” the president said.
Trump downplayed the opposition that the bill is facing, suggesting the objections that exist within his party can be overcome through negotiation.
“We have a few people that are -- I think you can say modestly -- they’re not standing on the rooftop screaming, they want to get some points. I think they’ll get some points,” he said.
Asked if Republican senators are doing enough to help him get the bill through, the president said “I think so.”
In addition to the five Republicans who have said definitively that they will not support the legislation as it is currently written, there are several other Republicans who have expressed misgivings about the bill since getting a first look at the text on Thursday. Prior to the bill’s Thursday release, most members of the Senate had not seen the text, which was drafted behind closed doors by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a close cadre of aides.
In the interview, the president continued to slam Democrats as obstructionists, and singled out Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, N.Y., for criticizing the legislation before he had seen what was in it -- noting that few in the GOP had even seen it at that time.
“I saw Sen. Schumer criticizing the bill a couple weeks ago and he had no idea what was in the bill," he said. "In fact, the Republican senators didn't know because it wasn't released. Very few people knew."
The president also took a personal swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who has been a leading voice in criticizing the GOP’s plan to repeal Obamacare. Trump once again referring to her as “Pocahontas” and called her a “highly overrated voice.”
“I call her Pocahontas and that's an insult to Pocahontas. I actually think she is just somebody that has a lot of hatred, a lot is anger,” the president said.
He went on to suggest that Warren actually damaged Hillary Clinton’s chances of capturing the White House during the 2016 campaign.
"I watched her campaigning for Hillary and she was so angry, Hillary would be sitting back listening to her, trying to smile,” he said. “But there were lot of people were going, wow, is this what we want?”