WASHINGTON — A “Face The Nation” interview with President Trump revealed some confusion about what’s happening with the Republican health care plan on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘It has to be,'” Mr. Trump insisted in the interview.
The president insisted his party’s bill does not weaken protections for the sick.
“In one of the fixes it was discussed pre-existing was optional for the states?” asked John Dickerson, moderator of “Face The Nation” and CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent.
“Sure, in one of the fixes. And they’re changing it,” Mr. Trump said.
Except it hasn’t happened.
The GOP’s latest bill does give states the option to let insurers charge sick people more — a move that brought conservatives on board but alienated moderates like Congressman Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania.
“Well it could affect people with pre-existing conditions, and it’ll make insurance probably much more expensive for them,” Dent says.
In Harrisburg this weekend, Mr. Trump pushed his party for a vote: “And I’ll be so angry at Congressman [Mike] Kelly and Congressman [Tom] Marino and all of our congressmen in this room if we don’t get that damn thing passed quickly.”
But the president told Dickerson he was actually in no rush.
“Take your time. Get the good vote and make it perfect,” Mr. Trump said.
The president’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, delivered another mixed message on “CBS This Morning” Monday: “We’re going to get health care down to the floor of the House. We’re convinced we’ve got the votes.”
That came as a surprise to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, who have not scheduled a vote. CBS News has confirmed that at least 20 House Republicans at this time would vote “no” — and the GOP can only afford to lose 22.