Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump calls House health bill he backed 'mean'

Trump calls House health bill he backed 'mean'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Senate Republicans to pass a "generous" replacement program for Obamacare, as the Senate struggled to produce an alternative to the healthcare law.

But his call for more funding could make it more hard to sell the bill to House Republicans, who will meet with senators if the bill passes the Senate to reconcile the differences between the two legislative bodies. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill's 217-213 House passage on May 4, Trump called it "a great plan". Both Hatch and Lee were unavailable for comment after the White House luncheon Tuesday.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., one of the 15 senators at the lunch, told Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" Tuesday that he would not "confirm anything that the president did or didn't say with respect to either the House bill or the Senate process".

"He made pretty clear that he thinks the House bill leaves people - many of which probably make up his base - in a bad place", said an unnamed source.

"With the uncertainty and mixed messages coming from our current federal administration in regard to health care and health care accessibility, there is an absolute need for states to become more reliant on providing insurance options to its citizens", said Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, who sponsored the Nevada bill. BuzzFeed's article said Trump used the phrase "son of a bitch" to describe the pending legislation.

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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. The CBO concluded the bill would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026.

So it was that on Tuesday, Capitol Hill reporters were stunned to learn that according to an edict coming down from Senate Rules Committee chairman Richard Shelby, they would be forbidden from interviewing senators in the halls of the Senate unless they had prior permission - meaning none of the hundreds of impromptu interviews that take place almost every day outside hearing rooms or on the way from one meeting to another would be allowed any longer.

Democrats and some moderate Republicans have attacked the House bill for eliminating a requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions and for rolling back the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid to cover millions of poor people.

Trump's criticism of a bill he once praised came as Senate Republican leaders attempt to redraft it.

Johnson is one of the few Congressional Republicans who believes that repealing the Affordable Care Act should not be rushed, but it appears that his party is not on board. "That might mean adding additional money into it".

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The uproar about a Senate health care bill that critics say is being written in secret comes just weeks after similar accusations were leveled at House Republicans.

Sources at the meeting told Politico that Republicans "risk getting savaged in the 2018 midterms" if they failed to repeal Obamacare, after campaigning against it for seven years.

This Pollyannaish certainty has continued with an unfounded confidence that the Republican Congress' inept efforts to overturn Obamacare and the Trump's mounting troubles related to the Russian Federation scandal will ensure a Democratic resurgence at the polls in 2018.

Duncan's bill was set to get a hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Wednesday.

It didn't help the optics after the fact when some Republican lawmakers were forced to acknowledge that they had not read the bill before voting in support of it.

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