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Trump Deadline: Thursday Is 'Our Chance' to End Obamacare

President Donald Trump used a campaign-style rally Monday night to press Congress to pass his Obamacare repeal bill.
Image: Trump speaks during a rally in Louisville
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky on March 20, 2017.John Minchillo / AP

President Donald Trump used a campaign-style rally Monday night to press Congress to pass his Obamacare repeal bill, which has been struggling to secure enough Republican support ahead a vote planned for Thursday.

"Thursday is our chance to end Obamacare and the Obamacare catastrophe and to begin delivering the reforms our people deserve," Trump said to packed stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Thursday marks the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act.

Trump suggested he was open to changing the current bill, shepherded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, with the president telling the crowd he wanted to pass "some form" of the legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

However, Trump, who delivered his remarks from a TelePrompTer, made no mention of the day's biggest news — FBI Director James Comey's testimony before Congress contradicting the president's claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him and confirming an investigation into potential collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian intelligence.

Instead, Trump focused on the economy, trade deals, his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, and health care ahead of his planned Tuesday meeting with Republicans on Capitol Hill to try to assuage reticent conservatives about the bill.

Trump seemed eager to put the health care fight behind him, repeatedly discussing his eagerness to move on to other issues like "massive tax cuts."

"We've got to get it done for a lot of reasons," Trump said.

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Trump conspicuously did not mention Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul during his opening remarks as he praised a number of other Kentucky politicians by name. Paul has been a leader of the right-wing opposition to the Ryan bill, saying it does not go far enough in undoing the Affordable Care Act.

Trump later called Paul a "good guy" and said, "I look forward to working with him," signaling he thinks the libertarian-leaning senator's vote may still be winnable with changes to the bill.

The president also made a brief mention his former rival, Hillary Clinton, and her husband, Bill Clinton, reviving the latter's campaign trail gaffe in which he called Obamacare "the craziest thing in the world."

"Oh, he must have had a tough night when he went home that night," Trump said to cheers.