President Donald Trump told Republican senators lunching at the White House Tuesday the House-passed health care reform bill he celebrated earlier this year was "mean". It's unclear as to what, exactly, he meant by the use of that specific adjective, although it does seem to directly contradict his other statements on the issue.
Meanwhile, administration officials and their Capitol Hill allies are sounding the same false note that, as Pence put it, "Obamacare is collapsing and taking the American people down with it". Senators have said that the House bill was dead on arrival and they're quietly working on their own version that the two chambers will have to reconcile later on.
Their descriptions of Trump's words differed slightly and they said the president did not specify what aspects of the bill he was characterizing.
Senate Republican leaders say text will be available to everyone later and that they've given every GOP senator ample opportunity to weigh in at caucus meetings that continue Tuesday. "Yes, premiums will be coming down; yes, deductibles will be coming down, but very importantly, it's a great plan", Trump said, surrounded by House Republicans he had invited to celebrate with.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, defended the push to skip hearings and move the bill - eventually - straight to a vote. Trump opened the speech by saying the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was "for the people".
"Let's be blunt. It is insane to pretend to have a bipartisan hearing on lowering drug prices when right now, today, 13 Republicans are writing a secret bill to kick 23 million people off health insurance and their prescription drug benefits".
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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". "We'll come out with a real bill, not Obamacare, and the results are going to be fantastic. and everybody's going to be happy".
Last month, Lee said the House bill contains numerous fatal procedural flaws and would have to be rewritten.
In an embarrassing retreat, Ryan had to abruptly cancel a March vote on the House measure after a revolt against it by Republican conservatives and moderates that would have ensured its defeat.
The White House said on Tuesday it wouldn't comment "on rumors about private conversations that may or may not have happened". "But that's because there are no Democrats who know what's in the GOP health care bill".
Conservative Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) admitted that passing a Senate health care bill will involve making some tough choices.
Senator John Thune (R-SD) said that although the Senate would like to repeal all of Obamacare's taxes, they would still like to consider all of their options.
President Donald Trump has reportedly asked Republican senators to draft a "more generous" healthcare bill than the "mean, mean, mean" American Health Care Act (AHCA) recently passed by the House. Susan Collins of ME, but could end up alienating conservatives, such as Sen.
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