Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean'

Kristopher Drake
June 16, 2017

President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized the House-passed health care bill, calling it "mean" in a meeting with Republican senators and urging them to develop a "more generous" version.

The remarks were a surprising critique of a Republican-written House measure whose passage Trump fought for and embraced. Will the Senate bill provide the same level of premium support for those 250,000 New Jersey residents, and will they still be able to use the online marketplace to find information about various insurance plans?

The motivation seems clear, based on Hatch's comment and others: Republicans will hide the ball as long as they possibly can so they can cram through the massive legislation without having to endure withering opposition that could fracture the tenuous support for the repeal plan.

The AHCA remains broadly unpopular; just 8% of Americans want the bill to pass the Senate in its current form, according to CNN.

Although some Republican senators have admitted to not knowing the details of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that a proposal is on its way.

Their push to extend coverage for more people comes as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a new study that predicted that the House bill would cause almost 13 million more Americans to become uninsured over the next decade.

Trump's White House budget officer Mick Mulvaney argued in a recent interview that it was as if the CBO "went into it and said, 'Okay, we need this score to look bad". According to the the Kansas City Star, McCaskill also railed against Republicans' strategic barring of Democratic collaboration in crafting a replacement.

"I hope that we can stay on schedule to have floor action before the Fourth of July break", Thune said.

(Another 17 percent of Oklahomans say they have no opinion.) Across all the states that voted for President Trump previous year, we estimate that support for the rarely over 35 percent.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is protective of the Medicaid program that expanded under Obamacare in Ohio, said that the meeting did not bring senators closer to an agreement on a final bill. McConnell can afford to lose only two GOP votes on the bill. The Senate is mandated to have a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before they vote.

"Let's be blunt. It is insane to pretend to have a bipartisan hearing on lowering drug prices when right now, today, 13 Republicans are writing a secret bill to kick 23 million people off health insurance and their prescription drug benefits".

Confronted with their refusal to publicly release a draft, one Senate GOP aide said, "We aren't stupid".

Alexander moved to cut her off, saying: "You passed the ACA in the middle of a snowstorm with 60 votes and crammed it down the throats of Republicans". A total of 20 House Republicans voted against the AHCA.

There are a few issues that still divide the Republican conference, including funding the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.

While the meeting didn't include an in-depth policy discussion, it did touch on how Senate Republicans are working to re-structure the tax credit in order to address lower income and older individuals.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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