Despite repeated failures, President Donald Trump will not put his plan to pass health care legislation to rest. On Friday, the president met with three Republican senators who hope to achieve a new plan that would repeal and replace Obamacare, according to a report from Politico.
The group is hoping to put forth legislation that would be able to garner 50 votes in the Senate.
The proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would block grant federal health care funding to the states and keep much of Obamacare’s tax regime. White House officials also met with House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) to brainstorm how to make the idea palatable to conservatives, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.
On Saturday morning Trump went on an angry Twitter tirade in which he said Senate Republicans "look like fools" and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must seek to abolish the filibuster rule "now." But the rant continued into the afternoon as well, and the president threatened to "halt Obamacare payments subsidizing health plans for low-income individuals — an idea adamantly opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike," according to Politico.
Trump referred to the subsidies as bailouts. "If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!" Trump tweeted.
Afterwards he sent out a tweet touting the stock market increases since the election, but a few hours later he still couldn't put the health care issue to rest. He further provoked Senate Republicans, demanding they come up with a solution. "Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!" the president tweeted.
Trump's hopes for "moving forward on the bill" were still high on Friday, despite the setback earlier in the week. "Yet several senior Republican Senate aides and allies of GOP leaders cautioned against any feelings of momentum coming from the White House on Saturday, particularly after Trump again instructed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to change the Senate rules to a simple majority and gut the legislative filibuster," Politico reported. McConnell has repeatedly said he would not change any rules.
Working with Graham are Sens. Dean Heller R-Nev., and Bill Cassidy La., who believe their proposal will be received more positively. They also said it would receive a much better score from the Congressional Budget Office than previous solutions which would have eventually thrown millions of Americans off their health insurance, according to Politico.
"I had a great meeting with the President and know he remains fully committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare. President Trump was optimistic about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller proposal. I will continue to work with President Trump and his team to move the idea forward.," Graham said on Friday.