Trump staff insist healthcare bill is on track ahead of uphill battle in Senate

There were already alarming signs for the White House of a groundswell of discontent among moderates that presages a stormy ride in the Senate

Susan Collins, the senator from Maine who is an expert on healthcare, vowed to effectively bin the House bill and start all over again. Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Members of the Trump administration took to TV channels on Sunday to insist they were on track to pass a bill to repeal and replace the current healthcare law and return power to the states to fix an ailing healthcare system.

Fears continued to grown in the moderate wing of the party, however, that the reform could leave millions without coverage, inflict devastating cuts on poorer and older Americans, and cost the GOP dearly at the 2018 midterm elections.

After Republican leaders pushed a revised bill through the House of Representatives that was so rushed several members admitted they had not even read it in full, a battle will now be joined in the Senate. With the party holding a paper-thin majority of just two seats, and with controversy raging around several aspects of the bill, Donald Trump faces an uphill struggle to secure the legislative victory he so desperately craves.

The president used his favorite bullhorn, Twitter, on Sunday to begin the lengthy process of browbeating wavering Republican senators into line. “Republican Senators will not let the American people down!” he said.

His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, signaled that a more dignified pace of debate might be tolerated in the Senate, in contrast with the unseemly haste of the House. “Everyone is excited and ready to go to work and take the time necessary to look at the bill … No one’s going to be beating down their door,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

But there were already alarming signs for…

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