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 CassidyAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Republicans grumble over Trump shifting military funds to wall MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPost peace talks, Afghan elections are the best way forward Trump walks tightrope on gun control Pompeo doubles down on blaming Iran for oil attacks: 'This was a state-on-state act of war' 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 CochranBiden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values' 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.