Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Hatch, Lee tight-lipped after meeting with Trump on health care bill

Hatch, Lee tight-lipped after meeting with Trump on health care bill

President Donald Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House-passed health care bill is "mean" and urged them to craft a version that is "more generous", congressional sources said.

Senate Republicans continue to hammer away at a comprehensive package to replace the Affordable Care Act, but some of their colleagues are already looking beyond that bill, publicly suggesting other ways to at least score some points on an Obamacare replacement.

Trump memorably held a Rose Garden ceremony with House GOP members after the American Health Care Act passed the chamber last month. While political divisions remain between moderate and conservative senators, negotiations are reportedly accelerating behind closed doors as the G.O.P. inches closer to fulfilling a almost decade-long dream: repealing Obamacare, lowering taxes, cutting government subsidies, and shrinking Medicaid.

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.

The GOP needs just 50 votes to pass their health-care bill in Senate, given the availability of Vice President Mike Pence to break any tie vote.

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Support from the likes of Senator Cormann and Mr Joyce will be vital over coming weeks if Mr Turnbull is to prevail. As one MP in the room put it afterwards: "Malcolm could lose his leadership over this if he doesn't listen to us".

Some GOP senators have expressed support for keeping some ObamaCare taxes to pay for their new healthcare bill as they negotiate a plan they will eventually merge with the House-passed measure. He said a replacement will be "generous, kind" and show "heart" and promised more funding. Trump, before he took office, said a number of times he didn't understand why the USA doesn't negotiate on the price of drugs.

Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and John Thune of South Dakota quickly scurried into another health care meeting on Capitol Hill. "This is clearly an issue where you don't want to make matters worse by reducing access to treatment".

While many Republican lawmakers claim Trump's various Russian Federation scandals have managed to distract from the business of actually passing legislation, they seem to have no problem leveraging the distraction as a sort of smokescreen. You saw the House.

Lee said it was an honor to discuss health care reform with the president, and "I hope we will be able to find a solution that will lower premiums for Utahns". By comparison, as Vox reported, when working to pass Obamacare in 2009, the Senate health committee spent 13 days marking up the bill and the full Senate debated the bill for 25 days.

"We're not even going to have a hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy", she said at Finance committee hearing. Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, Politico Playbook reports. "That is what I am saying", Trump said. Trump, angered by the fact no Democrats are working with him on repeal, has slammed the party as "obstructionists", even going so far as to say that he would behave differently if he were a senator.

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