Trump changes tune on House healthcare bill, calls it 'mean'

Posted June 21, 2017

Donald Trump has urged Republican Senators to devise a more generous healthcare bill, in contrast to what he called a "mean" bill passed in the House last month. "We've really been doing this for eight weeks, if you think about it". However, those negotiations are largely taking place behind closed doors. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill's 217-213 House passage on May 4, Trump called it "a great plan".

House Republicans failed to pass the bill in March after internal disagreements and it came to a vote in May after multiple amendments.

But according to a GOP Senate aide, who was granted anonymity to be able to speak freely about private conversations, the president told senators he met with Tuesday that the House's version of the health care bill is "mean" and he wants the Senate to generate a more generous package with more "heart".

Almost four dozen conservative groups wrote to Senator Hatch this week, urging the Senate to repeal Obamacare's taxes.

Another senator at the lunch, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, said after the meeting that there still was a lot of work to do before legislation can be unveiled.

"I think he realizes, you know, our bill is going to move, probably, from where the House was and he seems fine with that", Thune said. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Ernst, Sen. Cruz said, "There are many issues being debated in the group".

But the definition of phenomenal hasn't been agreed upon between senators.

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Among those problems include how long to continue funding for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. That House bill was widely criticized for letting states seek waivers from insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump has also vaguely suggested investing more money into the reform to make the USA health care system "the best anywhere", something that may throw conservative Republicans who want to use the law to reduce the budget deficit further.

The AHCA would repeal most of Obamacare's taxes in 2017 while retaining the 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on wealthy Americans until 2023 and delay the implementation of the "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health care plans until 2026.

"Right now, the insurance companies are fleeing. We've got huge problems", said Ms. Capito, whose been outspoken about the prescription painkiller and heroin problem that is devastating the USA, particularly in swaths of Appalachia and New England. This is largely because of subsidies that lowered the cost of insurance for millions and the expansion of Medicaid, in states that did so; ME has not. Trump once promised "insurance for everybody" and vowed that no one should be blocked from health insurance because they can't afford it.

Clair McCaskill asked Republican Sen.

Republicans in the Senate are making changes of their own, acknowledging that they need 50 senators to pass a health bill through the Senate's budget reconciliation process (with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie). They can agree that time is running out while insisting to reporters that no one is placing an "arbitrary deadline" on the process.