Trump calls House health bill he backed 'mean'


Congressional sources said Trump described the House bill as mean at a closed-door White House lunch Tuesday with 15 Republican senators.

Referring to Obamacare as a "disaster", Trump said the legislation he hopes to sign would be "phenomenal for the people of our country".

Before the meeting with Senate Republicans began in earnest, the president told his guests that the Senate version will be "generous, kind, with heart". "So I will just say that is disconcerting".

"That may be adding additional money into it", he said, without offering further details on how much money might be needed or how it might be used. Still, its not hard to see how we got here — and there is plenty of bipartisan blame to go around.

The meeting, organized to give the President a chance to check in on the process, brought together an eclectic group of Republican lawmakers as the Senate grapples in private with how to reform America's health care system. House Republicans ultimately passed the bill without a score from the CBO could conduct important analysis, including what the bill would cost and how many people would be covered under it. Now, facing a deadline if they want to finish the legislation this summer, the Trump administration is looking to step up pressure on GOP senators.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said he agreed with Trump's comments on healthcare during an interview on MSNBC.

"I don't think it's insurmountable", she told Politico.

The bill, which is Hensarling's marquee legislative initiative, faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where it will need Democratic support to garner the 60 votes required for passage, The Texas Tribune reported.

"The president is very interested in getting a health reform bill through the Senate and he wants us to get moving on it", Thune said.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday continued to assail how Republican leaders are crafting legislation to overhaul the US health care system, calling it "legislative malpractice", and are using GOP leaders' own statements from years past to make their point.

On Tuesday, it seemed that Trump was putting his finger on the scale with the more moderate members by criticizing a bill he celebrated with more conservative House Republicans. The bill was prewritten by leadership, approved by the relevant House committees, passed by the House and sent to the Senate. But there were times Max Baucus, for example, who was head of the Senate Finance Committee then, was trying to get Republicans to come on. They argue that reaching a consensus on such a divisive and complicated issue will take time and is more easily accomplished without adjudicating the details in the press. "I actually think it will get even better. And this is a great plan", Trump said. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and more conservative members, Portman said, "No, but that wasn't the objective of it".

Johnson has made the case that Republicans should not rush efforts to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law.

The president's criticism also came as Senate Republican leaders' attempts to write their own health care package have been slowed by disagreements between their party's conservatives and moderates.

Many Republican senators who attended the meeting dodged questions afterward. Lamar Alexander, Colorado Sen.

"Our goal here is to move forward quickly", he said.

Republicans, however, have refused to hold public hearings on a bill that would affect almost one-sixth of the country's economy and are prepared to bypass the regular committee process and bring the legislation directly to the Senate floor.