GOP health care bill developing in secret

Randolph Lopez
June 20, 2017

Republicans control 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, but there are divisions within the party over the content of the reform bill.

The Club for Growth, a conservative pressure group, said Tuesday that the Senate bill must reduce premiums even further than the House version and should scrap Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid and all of its taxes. Passage of that House bill, one will recall, was celebrated in the White House Rose Garden by the entire House GOP caucus.

Trump told reporters after the meeting that the Senate would come out with a "real bill, not Obamacare". Another said Trump used a vulgar phrase to describe the House bill and told the senators, "We need to be more generous".

"Senate Republicans' attempts to pass Trumpcare in the dark of night, without any transparency is one of the most egregious examples of legislative malpractice in decades".

GOP senators said Wednesday they remained divided over pivotal questions about dismantling and replacing chunks of former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. They say gaps in coverage would result.

After a long pause - and consulting with an aide - Hatch began to respond, "I don't know that there's going to be another hearing, but we've invited you to participate and give your ideas". "The end of July by the latest".

Thune said the Senate did not want to encounter a "false deadline and not be able to meet it and all the publicity that would go with that".

Senate GOP leaders are now writing their healthcare bill, though Democrats and even some fellow Republicans have not seen any of the legislative text.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, defended the push to skip hearings and move the bill - eventually - straight to a vote. They spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal a closed-door conversation.

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.

"He made pretty clear that he thinks the House bill leaves people - many of which probably make up his base - in a bad place", one congressional source with direct knowledge of the meeting said.

Their descriptions of Trump's words differed slightly and they said the president did not specify what aspects of the bill he was characterizing.

The report about Mr. Trump's comments emerged moments after Mr. Trump lashed out against Obamacare, and touted the future of health care during brief remarks in Wisconsin, where he landed Tuesday afternoon to discuss workforce development, the White House's theme for the week.

In an embarrassing retreat, Ryan had to abruptly cancel a March vote on the House measure after a revolt by Republican conservatives and moderates that would have ensured its defeat.

Another GOP source with direct knowledge of the meeting told Fox that Trump told the group of 15 Republicans that they should build a "more generous" version of the American Health Care Act.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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