Trump Schedules Call with Paul Ryan as Healthcare Bill Hangs in Balance

Ryan Looks Down on Trump SAUL LOEB AFPGetty Images

The White House revealed that President Donald Trump plans to call Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday as the future of the House healthcare bill hangs in the balance.

Conservative critics of the bill were emboldened after the Congressional Budget Office report warned that under Paul Ryan’s plan, 14 million people will lose insurance in 2018. The report also predicted that premiums would rise 15 to 20 percent in 2018-2019 before falling ten percent by 2026.

In an interview with Fox News, Ryan stated he was “pretty encouraged” by the report, citing predictions that it would cut $1.2 trillion in spending, $883 billion in taxes, and $337 billion in deficit reduction.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted on Monday that Trump and Ryan were in communication about the bill, but he failed to detail any phone calls between the two leaders.

“They have spoken, yes. I don’t know when the last time they had,” he said, when asked by Breitbart News if the president had called Ryan about the bill. 

The bill faces its next big test in a House Budget Committee vote on Thursday. If only four House Republicans on the committee join Democrats by voting “no” on the bill, the legislation would fail to move forward.

Trump continues to support Ryan’s proposed bill, although he remains open to some changes. During a cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday, Trump signaled that he was ready to make a deal with critics.

“We’re negotiating with everybody,” he told reporters. “It’s a big, fat beautiful negotiation, and hopefully, we’ll come up with something that’s going to be really terrific.”

The president is scheduled to speak on the phone with Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Tuesday afternoon.