Society

Trump Promises "Generous, Kind" Health Care Reform

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump has promised that the GOP health care reform will be "generous" and "kind."

In remarks at a luncheon with Republican senators June 13, Trump also argued that the GOP replacement of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," would show "heart," according to the Associated Press.

Obamacare "had been broken and it's been a broken promise," Trump added.

Trump indicated further resources may be needed to reform Obamacare, telling the senators, "That may be adding additional money into it," according to Reuters.

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The president did not provide specifics on what the extra money would be used for.

Senate Republicans are currently working on legislation after the House passed a health care bill in early May. Republicans control 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, but there are divisions within the party over the content of the reform bill.

Politico reported June 9 that conservative Republicans and lobby groups are on the brink of rebelling against the Senate's efforts. In particular, Senate aides are reportedly concerned about securing the votes of Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky due to concessions made so far in negotiations to moderate Republicans. One aide characterized the talks as "tipping towards the moderates."

"I think [Lee is a no]. And Rand will be a no," an anonymous Republican senator told Politico.

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Paul asserted in an interview earlier in June that the Republican bill adopted by the House kept "90 percent" of Obamacare. He called on Republicans to avoid rescuing the Obamacare marketplace by injecting more funds into the Senate bill.

"We promised the voters we'd repeal Obamacare," Paul added. "Instead, we want to repeal sort of a tiny bit of it and replace it with something that looks a lot like Obamacare."

Some conservative lobby groups agree.

"There are third rails that they can touch in the bill," David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, said. "They keep Obamacare tax increases, they don't lower premiums: conservatives will oppose it. I'm tired of Republicans promising they would repeal Obamacare and then negotiating to keep it."

The Senate is still working on the text of a draft bill.

The Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, could still pass a bill without votes from Lee and Paul, but he could afford no further defections from his caucus.

Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who is pushing for Medicaid benefits to be retained, sounded a more optimistic note.

"I don't think it's insurmountable," she told Politico. "But I think the passion's going up on each side. The heat's definitely rising."

Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, Politico / Photo credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

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