Following Thursday’s House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare — a vote that according to nonpartisan experts will strip at least 24 million Americans of their health coverage — Donald Trump assembled House Republican leaders at the White House Rose Garden where Trump appeared to revel not only in the health care repeal vote but in the fact that he is actually President of the United States.
After noting that he had “only been a politician for a short period of time,” Trump turned to face the group of Republicans led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who spearheaded the heath care repeal effort, and took a moment to also celebrate the fact that on November 8 of last year, six months ago, he won the 2016 Presidential Election.
“How am I doing? Am I doing okay?” Trump asked the group. “I’m president! Hey! I’m president! Can you believe it, right?”
Watch Trump make his announcement that he, in fact, holds the office of the president in the video below. The odd declaration begins at the 2:15 mark into the video.
The so-called “American Health Care Act,” better known as “Trumpcare,” passed the House narrowly and largely along partisan lines, with a 217-213 “yes” vote. While every one of the 193 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against the Trumpcare bill — which among other elements revokes the “Obamacare” guarantee that people with preexisting health conditions cannot be turned down for health coverage — all but 21 of the 238 House Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
Those 21 include one Republican, Dan Newhouse of Washington, who did not vote at all.
According to a tally by The New York Times, nine of the 20 no-voting Republicans represent districts that were won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Of those nine, five had supported the Trumpcare bill when it was proposed but never came to a vote earlier this year.
But 14 Republicans in Clinton districts voted in favor of the health care repeal bill.
Click here to see a full list of how individual Republicans voted.
Of the “Freedom Caucus,” the ultra-conservative group of House Republicans who had previously blocked the bill for, they said, failing to go far enough in repealing existing health care protections, only one voted to oppose the bill in Thursday’s vote; Andy Biggs of Arizona’s Fifth District. The remaining 34 “Freedom Caucus” members voted in favor of the Trumpcare bill.
Though the health care repeal bill has now survived its first test, the United States Senate must also vote to approve Trumpcare before the bill is sent to Trump’s desk, where he would sign it into law, making the Affordable Care Act repeal officially the law of the land.
But Trumpcare, which is considered a severe political liability for Republicans running in the 2018 election, already appears to be stalled in the Senate, with Republicans saying that they plan to create their own version of Obamacare repeal, and they will not even bring the bill that passed the House Thursday to the Senate floor for a vote.
Republicans hold 52 Senate seats, compared to 48 for the Democrats, including two independent Senators who belong to the Democratic caucus. While Democrats could filibuster any bill in the Senate, requiring 60 votes to overcome the filibuster, Republicans are likely to attempt a health care repeal vote through a process known as “reconciliation.” In that case, only 51 votes would be required.
With Vice President Mike Pence voting to break any 50-50 tie, Republicans could afford no more than two “no” votes on their version of a health care repeal bill, leading experts to predict that the Republican Senate bill will keep several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the House Trumpcare bill eliminates.
Among those may be the massive cuts to Medicaid and rollbacks to Medicare contained in the House bill.
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