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Health secretary praises Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ involvement in ObamaCare repeal

Health secretary praises Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ involvement in ObamaCare repeal
© Keren Carrion

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price praised President Trump’s “unprecedented” involvement in the process to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Monday afternoon.

“This is the greatest amount of involvement by any president that I have ever witnessed with members of Congress one-on-one,” Price said aboard Air Force One, as the president and members of his Cabinet traveled to West Virginia to address the Boy Scout jamboree.

"We’ve had a number of conversations, obviously, over the weekend, and we’re looking forward to a positive vote tomorrow in the Senate," Price added, saying Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-Ky.) "has assured his members that the vote will occur, and the president is adamant about moving forward and getting on a bill so that we can have the debate, have the discussion, and move forward on behalf of the American people."

"We look forward to having at least 50 votes in the Senate, and the vice president will be there, obviously, tomorrow in order to break a tie if there is a tie," he continued. "But you can’t begin to solve this challenge and crisis of ObamaCare without voting to proceed on the legislation and having the debate. As the vice president says, as the president says, this vote is to begin the debate on the repeal of ObamaCare."

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Price’s comments come one day before the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed on healthcare legislation. It’s unclear whether the Senate would take up a repeal-only measure or an updated version of its repeal-and-replace legislation. Neither is believed to have enough support to pass at the moment.

When asked about Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Maine), a holdout who has said she hasn't heard from Trump on the matter, Price said, "We’ve talked to virtually every single Republican senator."

"The Senator has been at the White House on a number of occasions. There have been conversations that have gone back and forth, so I think that the input that we have taken from senators has been extraordinary and, frankly, unprecedented. Having been involved in these healthcare conversations and debates for years, this is the greatest amount of involvement by a president that I have ever witnessed one-on-one with members of Congress — both the House and the Senate."