Trump is 'open' to ObamaCare fix, lawmakers say

Trump is 'open' to ObamaCare fix, lawmakers say
© Getty Images

President Trump was "open" to the idea of a bipartisan ObamaCare stabilization bill but did not make any commitments during a meeting Wednesday with a group of House lawmakers, attendees said. 

The bipartisan group of lawmakers, known as the Problems Solvers Caucus, pitched Trump on their plan to stabilize ObamaCare markets.

"He was clearly open to it, intrigued," said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a co-chairman of the group. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Gottheimer said there was some discussion of the possibility that Democrats could call the bill a "fix" and Republicans could call it something else. 

"I'll call it a fix, others will call it what they want, but it matters less about what you call it than actually what it is," Gottheimer said. "He was very intrigued by that."

Any bipartisan ObamaCare proposal faces stiff headwinds, though, given the polarizing nature of the issue. 

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) ran through the the details of the ObamaCare proposal from the Problems Solvers, lawmakers said. 

Trump asked whether the plan is essentially what Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Building strong public health capacity across the US MORE (D-Wash.) are working on in the Senate, and lawmakers said yes, according to Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Schumer feels heat to get Manchin and Sinema on board Failed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats MORE (D-Vt.), who was in attendance. 

Trump did not go so far as to offer support for the stabilization idea, though. He also did not commit to continuing key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions, lawmakers said, but he did not repeat his threat to cancel them either. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The stabilization proposal would fund those payments, which are key to the health care law's stability, as well as make some other changes like repealing the tax on medical devices. 

"I think the president was open to the conversation," said Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.). 

But Reed said the group is skeptical that anything can come out of the Senate. The fear, he said, is that the Senate is "shutting down on health care."

"He was clearly listening, but he was not committal about what he was going to do," Welch said of Trump.