PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jim DeMint, the President of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington DC, expressed his frustration with Donald Trump for lashing out on Twitter against the most conservative members of the House of Representatives after the failure of his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

DeMint told Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Trump should not be directing his anger at members of the Congress who have been his strongest defenders to this point.

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“It’s really painful, because the Freedom Caucus, they’re the folks that supported Trump and a lot of folks who were supporting this House bill were the ‘Never Trump’ people. So, I think folks are getting confused about who your friends are here. Freedom Caucus, to me, they’re the patriots. Unfortunately, as we look at this bill the House came out with, it was totally different than what they said they were going to put on the floor and pass. We actually passed a bill through the House and the Senate that was a repeal, that would set up all the replace steps that would come after that. What happens is when they introduced this bill, they conceded national health care.”

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He thinks it would’ve been possible to follow through on promises Republicans have made since Obamacare was signed into law and is disappointed the White House did not make the effort to follow through.

“You can get Democrats to vote for refundable tax credits and you could put interstate competition in that bill and you could get 60 votes in the Senate. You could get Democrats to support the expansion of Medicaid and you could put getting rid of some of the regulations in a bill with expanding Medicaid and get 60 votes in the Senate. I don’t understand the strategy here, especially when every Republican voted for a repeal bill through the House and the Senate and sent it to President Obama with the promise that when we get a Republican President, we’re going to that the first week he’s in office. That didn’t happen, so it feels like a bait and switch.”

DeMint said there were not significant enough changes to the existing law within the replacement crafted by House GOP leadership to win over his support or that of the conservative legislators.

“There are a number of parts that we don’t like. The key part here we should focus on are the regulations because the regulations, and we did a complete analysis at Heritage, are responsible for 68 percent of the costs of premiums. That includes the pre-existing condition guaranteed issue, the essential benefits, but also what they call community rating, which keeps the insurance companies from charging different rates for age or risk factors. What we want is a wide variety of competing health products.”

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