iI the White House's Cabinet Room, President Trump speaks before the lunch with, from left, Sen.
Though President Donald Trump celebrated when the American Health Care Act passed the House, on Tuesday, he called the bill "mean". Republicans control 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, but there are divisions within the party over the content of the reform bill.
Despite his swipe at partisanship, Trump encouraged the GOP senators to continue to fix the House bill, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than if Obamacare were to stay intact. Moderate GOP senators have been pushing to ease those restrictions. Not that either. Anthem explained clearly what is responsible for its retreat: Republican sabotage of the health-care system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still targeting a vote before the July 4 recess, even if there are only 14 working days left. They spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal a closed-door conversation.
Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), who attended the lunch, said Trump talked about "making sure that we have a bill that protects people with preexisting conditions" and how to design a tax credit for purchasing insurance that works for lower-income and elderly people in particular.
Their descriptions of Trump's words differed slightly and they said the president did not specify what aspects of the bill he was characterizing.
The senator said Trump didn't state many policy preferences but said people with pre-existing conditions should be protected and spoke about making tax credits apply to lower-income people rather than allocated exclusively by age as the House bill did. To the contrary, the ACA passed after months of revisions, amendments, public hearings and debates about the bill.
The House Republican bill moved in the opposite direction by allowing insurers to charge older, sicker people much more and by ending the Medicaid expansion.
The measure's final version reflected a compromise by conservative leader Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. The president's maladministration could include lax enforcement of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, inadequate efforts to enroll more people in coverage and other gratuitous subversions of the finely tuned system Obamacare sought to create.
"Many of you have been waiting seven years to cast this vote", Ryan said to the scores of Republican House members present. "You couldn't have a more partisan process than what you're engaged in right now".
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.
"He made pretty clear that he thinks the House bill leaves people - many of which probably make up his base - in a bad place", one source told CNN.
Just last weekend, Trump used his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to hold a fundraising event for MacArthur that netted $800,000.
Like Schumer, Ginsburg also thinks that it is a deliberate strategy by Republican Senate leadership to get a bill passed with as little public attention as possible. He previously described the bill as "incredibly well crafted". "From day one, I said we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare".
AP reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Kenneth Thomas and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
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