White House officially neutral on Senate health-care bill

The White House refused to say Thursday whether President Trump will support the Obamacare-repeal bill that the Senate is set to vote on this week.

Joyce Clark | Jun 24, 2017

The White House refused to say Thursday whether President Trump will support the Obamacare-repeal bill that the Senate is set to vote on this week. He has called at least one senator to ask if the lawmaker could be persuaded to support the bill, and White House officials have offered advice during the drafting process, but Trump is officially mum on his opinion of the final bill.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, principal deputy press secretary, deflected questions from reporters who asked what Trump thought about cuts to Medicaid and to Planned Parenthood, two of the most controversial sticking points the bill's authors have made pains to resolve. She indicated only that discussions continue.

"He wants to bring the stakeholders to the table, have those conversations and we'll get back to you," Sanders said, painting the bill as a work in progress. "We've been talking about reforming health care for a number of years; I don't think it's moving too fast."

Trump called the House version of the bill "mean" during a Tuesday luncheon briefing, adding that he didn't think it went far enough to protect individual consumers. He said he wanted the Senate to "add more money" to the bill. He said this despite having stumped for the House bill's passage and celebrating its majority-vote win earlier this month.

The two bills are substantially very similar. Both bills phase out Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and make deep cuts to the program. Both also reduce Obamacare insurance subsidies and the income levels governing eligibility. And both halt funding for Planned Parenthoodthe House bill permanently eliminates it, while the Senate bill pauses it for one year.

bottom ad