Culture

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

The aide said Trump did not explain what he meant and it was unclear whether he was referring to Medicaid spending - one of the thorniest issues Republicans are trying to navigate - or the overall healthcare bill.

"Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare", Vice President Pence proclaimed as roughly four dozen Republican lawmakers whooped it up in the Rose Garden.

Facing a do-or-die moment to pass health care reform through the Senate, President Donald Trump will have lunch with 13 consequential Republican senators on Tuesday to push repealing Obamacare, according to a White House official. AP first reported the comments and the aide confirmed them to USA TODAY. After all, 217 House Republicans voted for the right-wing legislation that Trump has called "mean" and "cold-hearted" - a detail their constituents will be made aware of in campaign ads.

But a Senate bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act's taxes more slowly than would the House's, she said.

Some 20 Republican senators are in states that chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and many are concerned about the number of Medicaid recipients who would lose coverage under the House bill. According to the Associated Press, Trump told GOP Senators that the AHCA is "mean". Just today, reporters have been blocked from recording senators in the hallways of Congress, an obvious attempt to further handicap coverage of their secret bill.

"The message was that we need to get this done, it needs to be done right, but sooner is better than later", said Sen. Indeed, if they don't release the bill until after the CBO's report, and hold to their plan to take a vote on the legislation before their July Fourth recess, the public will have nearly no time to absorb it, let alone convey their sentiments to their lawmakers. Senate Republicans are not holding public hearings or committee markups for their bill, a major departure from the traditional lawmaking process.

There's no great mystery as to why Trump would express love for the House bill in May, and disdain for the House bill in June. "We are going to come out with a real bill, not Obamacare".

Johnson said he is "curious" what will be in the bill, before telling reporters "it's not a good process".

The Senate is expected to rewrite much of the bill, increasing tax credits for low-income Americans.

Miller expects the Senate to stick to a House provision repealing Obamacare's mandate for individuals to have insurance or pay a fine, a requirement Republican voters loathe.

Among the ideas being floated are, phasing out Obamacare's Medicaid expansion after seven years.

Now, Senate Democrats are again forcefully speaking out against their GOP colleagues' quiet drafting of a health care bill. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who votes with Democrats, tweeted this picture of what he said was a schedule for Republicans' hearings on their bill. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and more conservative members, Portman said, "No, but that wasn't the goal of it". That's what we're going to do.

The members in attendance at Tuesday's lunch with the president will include: Republican Sens.



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