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Trump Suffers Huge Failure As GOP Withdraws Health Care Bill

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith is still on the line with us. And, Tam, as we just heard, Obamacare isn't totally falling apart, right? I mean, it's complicated. But this was the main message that President Trump gave today in his statement. It seems he's betting on Obamacare to fall apart so that he can then force Democrats to work with him on a new plan. What if it doesn't fall apart?

(LAUGHTER)

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: That is a good question. I think that, you know, in politics sometimes it's about branding. And Donald Trump is definitely someone who focuses on branding. You could end up ultimately with something that becomes keep it and fix it but call it something else. And for now, though, they're just planning to move on to tax reform.

MCEVERS: That's right. And what are the prospects of that do you think? I mean given, what we've just seen happen on the Hill and the divisions we see in the Republican Party and the Republicans' inability to unify over this. Is tax reform going to be as easy as they're making it out to seem?

KEITH: Well, Congressman Byrne was right when he just said that this will be harder than repealing and replacing Obamacare. You know, a congressional aide, a Republican aide told me that it's going to take months to draft the legislation, that at the moment the House, Senate and White House don't even see eye to eye on a path forward on tax reform. And, you know, let's just remember that Congress has been trying to do tax reform for decades. Literally, the last time tax reform happened was 1986.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith. Thank you very much.

KEITH: You're welcome.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMON TOBIN SONG, "EASY MUFFIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

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