President Trump’s prime-time appeal to scrap Obamacare energized Republicans but did little to bridge the divide between GOP factions jockeying for position in the push to repeal and replace the law before moving on to tax reform and other fights.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan seized momentum, though, saying Mr. Trump’s pitch to include tax credits in any Obamacare replacement signaled the White House and Congress are reading from the same playbook, as conservatives threaten to block an emerging plan crafted by leaders and key committee chairmen.
An emerging House GOP proposal would dole out refundable, age-based tax credits to people who purchase insurance on their own, while paying for it by taxing a portion of particularly generous employer-sponsored plans.
Conservatives have cast the plan as a new entitlement, or “Obamacare lite,” and an obstacle to the repeal effort that Mr. Trump and GOP lawmakers cheered on late Tuesday.
“While Trump sings to a conservative hymn book, he’s not a consistent conservative,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said. “He was not elected to be a conservative. He was elected to get things done.”