ObamaCare repeal authors meet with Trump

ObamaCare repeal authors meet with Trump
© Greg Nash

The main sponsors of the last ObamaCare repeal bill met Thursday with President Trump to discuss health care, despite the effort appearing dead for the foreseeable future.

The bill from Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump State aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick Republicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement MORE (R-S.C.) had gained momentum last week, but ultimately Republicans decided Tuesday against holding a vote this week after it became clear the legislation wouldn’t pass.

But the senators contend they’re not giving up on their years-long pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Still, action is not likely in the near term as a key deadline letting Republicans pass a bill without Democrats expires Saturday.

It’s viewed as unlikely that the GOP will tie tax reform to health care, but it's possible they could decide to work on health care again after passing a tax reform bill.

The meeting lasted about an hour, Graham said. 

"[Trump] sees the logic of the Graham-Cassidy, which is take the money, turn it back to the states, one size doesn't fit all. I mean, he really likes that. I mean, that makes a lot of sense to him," Graham told reporters. 

"I told him that a lot of the resistance was about the process. I really think substantively we can sell this to 50 members of our conference with a better process."`

Trump predicted Wednesday that Republicans will pass health care “in January or February."

"But I feel we have the votes. I’m almost certain we have the votes,” Trump said.

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Trump also said the vote couldn’t occur because one senator was in the hospital, in what appears to be a reference to Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranEspy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid MORE (R-Miss.). Cochran has said he’s not in the hospital but is recovering at home. His office said in a statement Tuesday that he was recently treated for a urological issue and “expects to resume his regular work schedule soon.” 

By Monday evening, three senators had announced their opposition to the Cassidy-Graham bill, effectively killing the legislation this week. The fast-track budget maneuver the GOP was using to pass ObamaCare repeal with a simple majority expires on Saturday.

Graham’s office confirmed the senator was going to the White House. Cassidy’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.