Trump to dine with Cruz amid healthcare push

Trump to dine with Cruz amid healthcare push
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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas) will dine with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday night, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced.

Trump's team is pushing lawmakers on the House GOP's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare — legislation that has spurred backlash from some conservatives who have argued that it doesn’t offer a drastic enough reform.

Cruz has not directly rejected the bill, which was unveiled by House Republicans on Monday. But he has voiced skepticism, telling Roll Call on Wednesday that he does not believe the bill would pass the Senate in its current form.

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“As drafted, I do not believe this bill would pass the United States Senate," Cruz said.

Cruz and Trump fought a bitter primary battle last year that often got personal, with Trump dubbing Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and tweeting attacks directed at his wife, Heidi Cruz, and Ted Cruz warning Republicans that nominating the real estate mogul “would be a train wreck.” Cruz eventually endorsed Trump a few weeks before Election Day, after declining to do so during a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention.

Heidi Cruz and first lady Melania Trump will join their husbands at the dinner Wednesday.

The GOP plan keeps some aspects of former President Obama’s signature healthcare law, such as a rule that insurance providers cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions and a prohibition on capping benefits.

But the measure also calls for an end to ObamaCare’s individual mandate requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance, and ends the law’s Medicaid expansion, which insures more than 10 million people in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

Trump is urging Republican lawmakers to quickly pass the proposed measure. If it is approved, it would make good on a longtime promise by the GOP to dismantle ObamaCare.

But several conservative groups, such as the Club for Growth, have announced their opposition to the bill. And some Republican lawmakers such as Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE (R-Utah) have come out against it.

Trump warned House Republicans on Tuesday that they will likely face an electoral “bloodbath” in the 2018 midterms if the GOP’s repeal-and-replace efforts fail.