Trump presses Freedom Caucus on health care: A no vote helps Planned Parenthood

Trump done negotiating over GOP health care bill: Mick Mulvaney
Trump done negotiating over GOP health care bill: Mick Mulvaney

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday, calling out conservative House Republicans whose support he needs to pass a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act in a high-stakes vote later in the day.

Trump signaled Thursday he was done negotiating details of the bill with groups including the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has opposed the proposal, saying it does not go far enough to repeal the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare. Trump demanded an up-or-down vote Friday after a Thursday vote was delayed, and the House plans to proceed with it in the afternoon.

The White House said Trump would move on to other priorities if the vote fails, leaving Obamacare in place. In a Friday morning tweet, he warned the Freedom Caucus — which has criticized Planned Parenthood — that federal funding will still go to the organization if they do not pass the current bill.

Trump tweet: The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

The GOP health-care bill would cut off federal funds to the organization for a year. Conservative Republicans have said the women's health provider should not get federal money because it provides abortions, though it does not use U.S. funds for those services.

"Today, the president is using Planned Parenthood, and the millions of women who depend on us for care, as part of a dangerous political game," Planned Parenthood said in a statement. "The president knows what it means to take away care at Planned Parenthood. As he himself has said, millions of women depend on us for cancer screenings, birth control, and other essential health care."

It is unclear if Republicans can garner the needed support to pass the plan Friday, and Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday night he remains a "no."

Despite the uncertainty about whether the bill can pass, the House Rules Committee on Friday morning cleared it for debate and votes on the House floor.

The postponement Thursday was a sobering setback for Republicans, who aimed to approve health-care legislation before moving to other parts of their agenda, particularly tax reform. The GOP had timed Thursday's now-aborted vote to the seventh anniversary of the passage of the ACA.

Still, reports have indicated that Trump may not want the current health-care bill to pass. Some public opinion polls have also shown that voters strongly oppose the proposal in its current form. Most independent analyses have said it will lead to a large increase in the number of people uninsured.

When asked if the bill's defeat Friday was best for the Trump administration, a senior White House aide told CNBC, "100 percent."

— CNBC's John Harwood contributed to this report