President Trump was "blindsided" by the defection of Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) from the GOP health-care bill on Monday, a move that effectively killed the "replace" part of repeal and replace for now, Politico reports. But even as Trump has privately warned "we're in trouble" if Republicans don't offer up a health-care solution, even the leadership's last-ditch efforts look grim.
As it stands, Trump might be in for more surprises. Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to repeal ObamaCare with a two-year window to come up with a replacement, many experts don't see the move as having much of a chance. "This is leadership saying: 'If you're not going to come around on a 'replace' bill, [forget] you,'" explained Axios' Jonathan Swan. "'We'll do repeal without replace — which you voted for before, when Obama was president, and you knew it wouldn't take effect. What was that, a fake vote?'"
As Axios' Mike Allen adds, the bill will "probably lose. But this is McConnell trying to get the issue fully off his plate so he can move on to tax reform, while showing the base he tried everything he could."
In the words of one person briefed on Trump's Monday meeting, though, the president has stressed "we have the Senate, House, and White House and we have to do it or we're going to look terrible."
Or as one White House aide put it to Politico, Trump will be happy with anything so long "as something gets done."