Trump said whatever Republican health reform passes, it will be a "phenomenal bill" that's "generous, kind, with heart". "Instead, we want to repeal sort of a tiny bit of it and replace it with something that looks a lot like Obamacare". At a private meeting of Senate Republicans Tuesday, McConnell reportedly proposed delaying the cutoff of enhanced Medicaid expansion funding for just three years. Major Ohio health insurer Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced last week that it would no longer participate, a move the Trump administration believes confirms the law's ineffectiveness.
Asked to comment on President Trump's remarks about the House measure, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said, "Congressional Republicans, with President Trump's support, are working to repeal and replace this bad Obamacare law that is harming Americans".
Republicans now face a do-or-die moment to pass a bill.
A second source familiar with Tuesday's meeting, which included a mix of moderate and ultra-conservative voices, said Trump avoided pushing the senators to set a deadline for a healthcare vote. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that the Senate panel hold a hearing and take testimony on a health care plan that the GOP is writing in secret.
The conservative coalition argued that true repeal of Obamacare must contain the repeal of its many taxes and that any final Senate bill should include at least as many taxes as the House-passed Americans Heath Care Act (AHCA).
"Well, I think we're not anxious so much about that as we are getting it together so we can get a majority to vote for it", said Hatch, a grandee who has served in the Senate for 40 years.
Cruz told the Post, however, he's not "not remotely" compelled to vote for just any GOP health-care bill to protect his image.
Thune said the group also discussed an effort he is leading to increase the tax credits in the bill to give more assistance to low-income and older people than the House bill did. "But I think he wants us to be able to do our work and he feels good about the progress that we've made". As Sen. Franken said during his interview with Joe Scarborough - who was a Republican Representative for Florida in the House for four terms starting in 1994 - that they could make a bipartisan effort to go in and fix the problems with the ACA and make it easier.
"The Senate is working very, very hard and specifically the folks in this room", said Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still targeting a vote before the July 4 recess, even if there are only 14 working days left.
Trump has so far largely left the Senate to do its work, remaining hands off through a hard process.