Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Billy Long changes his mind on health care bill: "President Trump really needs me"
Long had announced his opposition to the plan Monday, saying he could not support it because it did not cover pre-existing conditions.
During a news conference this morning, Long announced the reasons for dropping his opposition.
"I was always for the underlying bill, but I believe they made what I consider the change wtih pre-existing conditions. That's when I said, 'I'm a no.'
"The president said, 'Billy, we really need you, we need you, man, we need you. We went through that for 20 minutes.
"He called back yesterday. 'We need you, we need you, we need you," and I said, 'I'm a no.'
Long said he told the president he and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, had come up with an amendment that would increase the amount of money provided for risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions.
"We want to make sure these people are covered," Long said. "They need to be covered."
Trump conceded the point,and though Long and Upton have no guarantees their amendment will be successful, that concession (and the fact that the president really, really needed Billy Long_ were enough to flip their votes.
"We're both yeses on the bill," Long said.