Trump is 'open' to ObamaCare fix, lawmakers say

Trump is 'open' to ObamaCare fix, lawmakers say
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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. 

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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Congress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators seek answers on surprise medical bills | Red states move to limit Medicaid expansion | Two drug companies agree to testify Senate Dems block Sasse measure meant to respond to Virginia bill MORE (D-Wash.) are working on in the Senate, and lawmakers said yes, according to Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism Leahy endorses Sanders for president High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks 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. 

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.