During a White House lunch, President Donald Trump urged Republican Senators to pass a "generous" replacement program for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to a Reuters report. It was an extraordinary slap at a bill Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., guided through the House and that Trump himself had championed and praised.
The president's private comments seem to fly in the face of his public ones, in which he has called the House bill, "incredibly well crafted", among other things.
"There are third rails that they can touch in the bill", David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, said. It was done behind closed doors, Republicans said.
Did Trump encourage the passing of a bill he truly didn't support in the hopes of gaining a purely symbolic victory over the Democrats? It's the tax "reform" bill granting a huge tax break to citizens who make over $250,000 yearly, camouflaged as a health care bill.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, 23 million fewer Americans would be insured under the House GOP plan, 14 million more people uninsured than under Obamacare.More news: 6 police killed in rebel ambush in Indian-controlled Kashmir
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The positive comments about the Senate plan tracks with Trump telling reporters during the meeting that the Senate should spend more on the bill to make it "generous, kind (and) with heart".
"I think we've got a little ways to go", he told reporters.
"To call a bill that he pushed "mean" leaves us scratching our heads", Brat said. They have faced similar internal disagreements between the party's conservatives and moderates like their House colleagues.
"I've been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare now for nearly two years", he said. The apparent goal is to get the legislation scored - a Senate requirement - and hold a vote before the bill or its effects are widely digested by the public.
Another GOP source with direct knowledge of the meeting told Fox that Trump told the group of 15 Republicans that they should build a "more generous" version of the American Health Care Act.
At a Senate health committee hearing Tuesday that was supposed to focus on high prescription-drug prices, Democrats criticized Republican efforts to develop their health bill in secret.
Senate GOP leaders are now writing their healthcare bill, though Democrats and even some fellow Republicans have not seen any of the legislative text. He has suggested the proper course may be to pass a short-term bill to stabilize individual health coverage markets, followed by a more sweeping measure in the long term.
Remember this when you vote: They took $800 billion from health care and transferred it to the richest people in the country, their base. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME who's seen as a tough vote to get.