Trump to dine with Cruz amid healthcare push

Trump to dine with Cruz amid healthcare push
© Getty Images

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' China sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Trump signs major conservation bill into law 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.