During a private White House lunch with 15 GOP senators on Tuesday, Trump reportedly told his guests that the House bill was “mean, mean, mean,” adding that the new bill needs to be “more generous, more kind,” Congressional sources told the Associated Press and CNN.
“He made pretty clear that he thinks the House bill leaves people – many of which probably make up his base – in a bad place,” one source told CNN.
A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that under the House-approved bill, an estimated 23 million people would lose their health coverage by 2026. The CBO also determined that healthcare costs for older Americans and people with pre-existing conditions would increase.
During the public part of the meeting, Trump told reporters that the ACHA is going to be “a phenomenal bill to the people of our country: generous, kind, with heart.”
“And that may be adding additional money into it. We are going to come out with a real bill, not Obamacare,” Trump said, according to CNN.
On May 4, the House passed the ACHA, under the leadership of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). 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. Trump added that he was “confident” that the bill would pass through the Senate.
On Tuesday, several Democratic lawmakers pointed out Trump’s contradicting statements on Twitter.
“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.
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts) corrected Trump, saying that the AHCA was not “mean,” but “cruel.”