GOP Health Care Bill Will Be 'Generous, Kind and With Heart'

Senators are working on crafting legislation to replace Obama's signature domestic legislation

Senators are working on crafting legislation to replace Obama's signature domestic legislation

Mr. Trump's comments were described by people who received accounts of a White House lunch the president had Tuesday with 15 GOP senators.

On Tuesday, 13 Senate Republicans from different factions of the party gathered at the White House to discuss the bill they were drafting to repeal and replace Obamacare. "If we're going to overhaul this program, which we need to by virtue of Obamacare, we can at least put it on a sustainable path". "Generous, kind, and with heart".

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), who attended the lunch, said Trump talked about "making sure that we have a bill that protects people with preexisting conditions" and how to design a tax credit for purchasing insurance that works for lower-income and elderly people in particular.

The House of Representatives' version of a health-care reform bill, the American Health Care Act, passed the House in May by just a single "yes" vote, which was held before it was analyzed by the CBO.

The House of Representatives narrowly approved its version of repeal last month but Senate Republicans have been unable to coalesce around their own version of a bill, with moderates and conservatives pushing in different directions in meetings behind closed doors.

"It seemed like [Trump] finally understood", the source said, "that healthcare is unlikely to get done before August and maybe not even by the end of this year".

The sources told The Associated Press that the president did not say what aspects of the bill he was characterizing. Among a variety of differences between the two Republican efforts, one is especially rankling to Democrats: the senators of the Budget Committee are cobbling together their bill in secret. That nonpartisan office later estimated that the AHCA would lead to 23 million more Americans lacking health insurance by 2026 than would be the case if Obamacare remained intact. During the president's meeting with the handful of Republican senators, Trump echoed this view, calling Democrats "obstructionists", and referring to their resistance as "unfortunate". Susan Collins (R-Maine) and more conservative members, Portman said, "No, but that wasn't the goal of it". If the health bill siphons enough cash from needy folks who can't push back, then parliamentary magic will allow Republicans to pass a filibuster-proof mondo tax cut.

Trump's lunch included a number of more moderate Republicans, including Sens. And Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said "this is not the best way to do health care, but it's the way we're having to do it", adding that the only thing about the bill he's aware of is that "they're writing it". Obamacare, it was said, was getting more popular. "Obviously, we're going to have a vote on this one way or the other".

The President will likely accept whatever they come up with - "Pretty obviously (he's) not a details guy", one Republican aide said - but will eventually be called on to help rally support for the final product.

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