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Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean'

23 June 2017

During a lunchtime meeting at the White House between 15 senators and Trump, the president said the AHCA was "mean" and asked them to craft a "more generous" bill, according to the Associated Press and CNN, citing congressional sources with knowledge of the meeting.

Many Republicans say the closed-door negotiating process is necessary to find the right balance to get the needed votes. They agreed to language letting states drop requirements for higher premiums under Obama's health care law to protect with pre-existing medical conditions, and requiring insurers to cover specific services like maternity care.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has criticized Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a key player in modifying the health-care legislation, for not being more transparent in the process.

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. "From day one, I said we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare".

One source said Trump called the House bill "mean, mean, mean" and said, "We need to be more generous, more kind".

"This is a great plan, and this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare, make no mistake about it", Mr. Trump said at the time.

Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, said the closed-door process has given his colleagues space to have hard and complex intra-party debate.

On Tuesday, Trump met with Senate Republicans to chat about their shadowy healthcare plan and, unsurprisingly, came out of the meeting saying, "The results are going to be fantastic". Such a failure would not get him a party on the White House lawn, but he and his colleagues could head home to their summer recess and tell constituents that, gosh darn it, they would have killed Obamacare if those pesky Democrats had not obstructed them.

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"As soon as we can do it", Mr. Trump said. "We are now so far from regular order, the new members don't even know what it looks like", she said.

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.

The senators Trump invited to lunch included Republicans from both ideological camps. Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, and conservatives like Sens.

"And that may be adding additional money into it", he continued.

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.

Trump will also meet with "Obamacare victims" on Tuesday when he travels to Wisconsin. His legislative affairs team has been closely involved, but the President himself has been removed - by design, multiple aides on Capitol Hill said.

After meeting with two such couples after landing in Milwaukee, Trump pointed to "millions of American families" he said "continue to suffer from Obamacare while Congressional Democrats obstruct our efforts to rescue them".

It has now culminated in the Senate GOP leadership's top-secret process to try to write a health bill that could change the formula for almost one-fifth of the nation's economy, with a vote they want to cast by July 4.

Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean'