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Trump may have trouble getting own party on board his healthcare plan

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

03-11-2017 10:40 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump may have trouble pushing his healthcare revision through his own party, as the Republican Party (GOP) has blasted Trump's plan as a watered down version of the Obamacare that they dislike, experts said.

Democrats and opponents have blasted the new president on a number of fronts. At the same time, some in the Republican establishment also criticize the New York billionaire on parts of his agenda.

The latest of those is Trump's healthcare re-vamp, which revises former President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. The plan, known as Obamacare, has been heavily criticized by Republicans since it was passed several years ago.

Now, the GOP is upbraiding Trump's plan as "Obamacare light" -- a watered down version of the plan that supporters dislike.

Trump is going to have difficulty getting the healthcare bill through Congress. It is being blasted by GOP conservatives as too liberal and not a meaningful repeal of Obamacare, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.

"They are upset that it likely will cost more while insuring fewer people," West said.

"As of right now, it does not appear the bill has the votes to pass. What likely will happen are amendments that ease some of the concerns that Republicans have. Democrats are likely to vote 'no' across the board, since nearly all of them support Obamacare as a preferred alternative. They do not like the cutbacks on service and the high price tag of the GOP alternative,"West said.

The Republican bill seems to have many of the negative features of Obamacare without its positive features. There are estimates that as many as 10 million Americans will lose health insurance and that premiums likely will go up by quite a bit.

"That negates the supposed benefits of repealing Obamacare," West said.

Obamacare has long been a major source of contention between Democrats and Republicans. The GOP has said it would repeal and replace the law, but experts have maintained that doing so might not be so easy.

The landmark legislation was seen as part of Obama's legacy, as the controversial health care plan aims to get health insurance to millions of low income people. But critics have blasted the plan as imposing unfair and very expensive tax burdens on the middle class.

Pushing "Obamacare light" might also put Trump in hot water with the very supporters who cast their ballots for him in November.

The law is seen by many Trump supporters as yet another example of what they say is government overreach and meddling in the private affairs of citizens.

One problem is that each provision of Obamacare affects big parts of the health sector. Getting rid of Obamacare may lead people without insurance to go to hospital emergency rooms for medical care. This will create enormous financial problems for hospitals, some experts said.

The Obamacare stipulates that all Americans must purchase healthcare coverage or pay a fine, a very controversial measure that critics have blasted as government inappropriately overstepping its boundaries.

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