Trump demands support in do-or-die Friday vote on healthcare plan

U.S. President Donald Trump warned House Republican lawmakers that he will leave Obamacare in place and move on to tax reform if they do not get behind new healthcare legislation and support it in a vote on Friday. It was not clear late on Thursday evening that Trump and the Republican leaders who crafted the bill had enough support to pass it, meaning they now risk defeat in their first attempt at major legislation and may fail to deliver on a key campaign pledge. “We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it’s collapsing and it’s failing families, and tomorrow we’re proceeding,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after an evening all-hands meeting. He ignored reporters who asked if he had secured the votes to pass the bill. Ryan and leaders in the House of Representatives were forced to postpone a vote on their healthcare bill, formally called the American Health Care Act, earlier on Thursday, dealing Trump an embarrassing setback. The vote had been symbolically planned for the anniversary of former Democratic President Barack Obama signing his namesake healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, in 2010. It was supposed to have been Trump’s first legislative victory. Trump and his fellow Republicans had pledged to replace Obamacare, which they view as too intrusive and too expensive. Conservatives felt the bill did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare and moderates felt the plan could hurt their constituents. House Republican leaders had signaled they were ready to work through the weekend to figure out a way to reconcile their differences. As the healthcare drama unfolded on Capitol Hill, Trump played it cool, taking a break from negotiations to hang out with some truckers, climbing into the cab of a long-haul transport truck parked on the back driveway of the White House, and blowing the horn a few times.