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Continetti: White House Learned They Need Alliance With Conservative Outside Groups on Health Care

• April 26, 2017 5:33 pm

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Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti said Wednesday that President Trump's White House had learned after last month's health care debacle that it needed an alliance with conservative outside groups to have success.

Continetti said the new GOP health care plan had "slightly better" prospects for passage than the original Obamacare repeal, called the American Health Care Act, since the conservative House Freedom Caucus is now on board this time thanks to an amendment allowing states to opt out of key Obamacare regulations.

Trump and House Republicans suffered an embarrassing setback in March when they were forced to pull the original AHCA from the floor, after it was clear they didn't have the votes to win passage.

"The White House learned on health care they need the outside groups," Continetti said. "They need the alliance with the conservative outside groups and also President Trump's right flank. Once they achieve that, then they have some room to lose some of the moderates."

MSNBC host Steve Kornacki asked Continetti if pursuing this health care legislation was politically a wise course of action for the GOP.

"I think Republicans have decided they have to go down this road, mainly because passing this health care legislation would open up budget space for the other Trump priority we heard about today: taxes," Continetti said. "This is a strategy that I think the House Republican leadership had settled on a while ago, and so far, President Trump is still sticking with that."

Should it not work out like before, Continetti said, Trump would face a "recalculation" about how closely he would align himself with House Republican leadership.