Trump calls House healthcare bill 'mean' during closed-door meeting with senators ‒ report

AP sources: Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean'

Trump tells senators that health bill should be 'more generous' than 'mean' House version

During a ceremony at the Rose Garden, Trump praised the bill as "an incredible healthcare plan" and "something very, very incredibly well-crafted", according to the White House. "And I think there's concern that will happen with the Senate bill".

And certainly if one overlooked the dozen or so hearings and the more than 30 bipartisan meetings that then-Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus held, or the months he spent trying to work out a bipartisan bill with ranking member Chuck Grassley, or the bill's month-long markup, during which some 160 GOP amendments were accepted, or the many House hearings, or the attention paid to the Congressional Budget Office's cost analysis, or the more than a year it took from the first big meeting to the bill's final passage, one might nearly believe that to be true.

Some Republican senators and aides are downplaying the lack of clarity so far, insisting that it reflects the reality that the bill is still being written.

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.

"The Republican majority is afraid of the American people learning what is in their healthcare bill", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The lawmakers specifically discussed structuring the bill differently than the House bill, Thune said, including ensuring the bill "protects people with pre-existing conditions" and using tax credits to "make the bill work for lower income, elderly people".

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Their descriptions of Trump's words differed slightly.

Sounds a lot like complaints from Republicans when a Democrat-controlled Congress passed the Affordable Care Act containing volumes of rules and guidelines nearly no one - including Democrats - bothered to read.

"Americans won't forget that @HouseGOP passed a "mean" bill to rip healthcare from millions then celebrated @ the WH", Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) tweeted.

As was the case in the House, moderates and hardline conservatives are trying to push the bill in opposite directions.

The measure's final version reflected a compromise by conservative leader Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J.

There seems to be agreement, however on protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

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House Republicans "have done (their) job", Trump said on Tuesday, and "now it is the Senate's turn to act, and again, I hope they are going to act in a very positive manner". "You couldn't have a more partisan process than what you're engaged in right now".

President Donald Trump speaks before having lunch with Republican Senators and White House staffers in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

"I think we have to really take a look at this, and I think the American people need to take a look at it", Johnson told Bloomberg.

Just last weekend, Trump used his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to hold a fundraising event for MacArthur that netted $800,000.

Trump has similarly urged the Senate to make the bill more "generous, kind (and) with heart".

Trump had not publicly criticized the House bill previously.

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