The Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act came out to the same response from conservatives that the original House version got. It was also boycotted in the same manner by principled Republicans who knew that it wasn’t the true repeal of Obamacare that they were promised. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson banded together to announce they wouldn’t be voting for this version of the bill. The stand was successful. According to reports, President Trump has made it his “personal mission” to get Rand Paul’s vote for the Senate healthcare bill.
“Trump signaled ‘intense interest’ in helping whip votes, one person familiar with the conversations said, and his senior aides have been in frequent communication with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s team, per White House officials. One person familiar with the discussions said Trump’s role will be to work on more conservative members — like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — and leave moderates largely alone, where he is likely to have little influence. Trump has a personal relationship with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), seen in the Senate as a difficult vote to win, ‘and sees it as a personal mission to win him over,’ one White House official said.
Rand Paul must have been studying the Art Of The Deal because he appears to have all the leverage in this negotiation right now. The President of the United States is going to be lobbying him personally to get his support for this legislation. That isn’t a position that too many lawmakers will ever find themselves in. Despite the President’s oft-proclaimed dealmaking skills, it won’t be easy for him to sway Rand Paul. Substantial changes will have to be made that go farther to actually repeal Obamacare and remove its subsidies. Without significant rewrites, President Trump’s “personal mission” to get Rand Paul’s vote is doomed.