Trump: Senate GOP needs to fulfill promise to end ‘Obamacare nightmare’

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WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump called for Senate action on healthcare from the White House Monday and said Obamacare was “death.”

Trump urged Republican senators to “do the right thing” on an overhaul effort.

In a televised address Monday, Trump sought to push his party on the eve of a key vote.

Flanked by families that he dubbed “victims” of President Barack Obama’s health care law, Trump called the law a “nightmare” and asked if GOP senators would “side with Obamacare’s architects or with its forgotten victims.”

Leaders have said the Senate will vote Tuesday on legislation shredding much of the law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t yet announced exactly what version of the measure lawmakers would consider.

Trump stressed that Republicans have run for years on a promise to repeal and replace the law. He said they must “fulfill that solemn promise.”

A Texas Republican congressman says it’s “absolutely repugnant” that the GOP-led Senate hasn’t acted on repealing the health care law and he singled out “some female senators from the Northeast.”

In a radio interview with “1440 Keys,” Rep. Blake Farenthold said the Senate has failed to show the courage to dismantle the health care law. The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to move ahead on legislation.

Farenthold complained about some female lawmakers and said, “If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”

Maine Sen. Susan Collins has been consistent in opposing the GOP replacement to Obamacare. Other female senators who have expressed reservations are Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The Republican governor of Ohio says it would be a mistake for the Senate to move ahead on health and “force a one-sided deal that the American people are clearly against.”

In a statement on Monday, Gov. John Kasich says Republicans and Democrats should work together openly to address the failings of the Obama health law and come up with a bipartisan solution.

Kasich, who sought the GOP presidential nomination last year, said the American people will come out on the losing end if Republicans try to force a vote without open dialogue and transparency.

Kasich’s comments add pressure to Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman, ahead of the vote.

The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican healthcare bill but it’s not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace the Affordable Care Act or simply repeal it. That’s according to John Thune of South Dakota, the third-highest ranking Republican senator.

Thune told “Fox News Sunday” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make a decision soon on which bill to bring up for a vote. Thune cast this week’s vote as mostly procedural. But he acknowledged that senators should be able to know beforehand what the bill says.

McConnell is making a last-gasp effort to resuscitate the floundering legislation after President Trump insisted that senators not leave town for the August recess without passing a health bill.