Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean'

Lance Nichols
June 16, 2017

Before shots fired in Alexandria interrupted all normal news, a story that was gaining interest involves the president's reported comments at a meeting with Republican senators calling the House-passed American Health Care Act "mean" and a "son-of-a-bitch". Passage of that House bill, one will recall, was celebrated in the White House Rose Garden by the entire House GOP caucus.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said he agreed with Trump's comments on healthcare during an interview on MSNBC.

Senate aides said the upper chamber's plan was not expected to touch insurance protections that are included in the PPACA for people with pre-existing medical conditions, after the controversy over the House bill that would let states seek waivers from those protections.

"He wasn't prescribing deadlines, because I think he recognized what happened in the House wasn't good, and he wants to make sure that we have a process that proceeds in an orderly way", Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) said, according to ABC News.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly wants to have a vote on the bill before the week-long July 4 recess. The plan, apparently, is to send the bill to the CBO for a score before it is then released to the public.

Politico, citing sources familiar with Trump's meeting with senators, reported the president believes the House version of the bill is hard to defend, and said he'd like to see more robust tax credits for people who buy health insurance as individuals.

Moderates, including Capito, have held great sway in the discussions as Senate leaders worked to secure the 50 votes necessary to pass a health-care bill.


Johnson has made the case that Republicans should not rush efforts to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law.

Tuesday's lunch meeting resulted in little tangible progress on how to gain the support of almost all Republican senators needed for it to pass the Senate.

Democrats say the process is blatantly hypocritical because Republicans complained before Obamacare passed in 2010 that it was largely written behind closed doors. "Your deductibles, when it comes to deductibles, they were so ridiculous that nobody got to use their current plan - this nonexistent plan that I heard so many wonderful things about over the last three or four days". To the contrary, the ACA passed after months of revisions, amendments, public hearings and debates about the bill.

Because he is trying to pass the bill with only GOP senators, in order to avoid a Democratic filibuster, McConnell can only afford to lose two of the 52 Republicans.

According to the latest polling, from Quinnipiac University, 44 percent of people expect health insurance costs will go up under the House Republican bill and 57 percent think fewer people with have insurance coverage.

"I'd say give us a little more time", Cornyn said.

In an embarrassing retreat, Ryan had to abruptly cancel a March vote on the House measure after a revolt against it by Republican conservatives and moderates that would have ensured its defeat. The House bill would eliminate those subsidies and offer tax credits instead. The Senate is aso looking at slowing down the rollback of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion by several years.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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