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President Calls House Health Care Bill “Mean,” Pushes Senate for “Generous” Legislation

President takes moderate stance at White House meeting

During a White House lunch, President Donald Trump urged Republican Senators to pass a “generous” replacement program for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to a Reuters report.

Capitol Hill sources, who asked not to be named, said President Trump described the version of the legislation that passed the House last month as “mean.” That bill was widely criticized for allowing states to seek waivers from insurance protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

President Trump held the get-together in a bid to help GOP lawmakers find common ground to move forward with PPACA reform legislation this summer. During a portion of the lunch that was open to reporters, the president told the senators that their health care bill would need to be “generous” and “kind.”

“That may be adding additional money into it,” he remarked.

South Dakota’s John Thune, the number-three Republican in the Senate, who attended the lunch meeting, told reporters that President Trump was open to suggestions that some federal “cost-sharing payments” to health insurers under the PPACA continue in the near term. Those subsidies help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans.

Thune also said President Trump did not give any deadlines to the senators on passing their bill. 

Senate aides said the upper chamber’s plan was not expected to touch insurance protections that are included in the PPACA for people with pre-existing medical conditions, after the controversy over the House bill that would let states seek waivers from those protections.

Source: Reuters; June 13, 2017.

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