Trump calls for Congress to fix 'ObamaCare mess,' end 'bailouts' for insurers

Trump calls for Congress to fix 'ObamaCare mess,' end 'bailouts' for insurers
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President Trump on Tuesday evening praised bipartisan efforts in the Senate to find compromise on stabilizing the nation's health-care markets while calling on lawmakers to end "bailouts" for insurers.

Trump told a conservative audience at the Heritage Foundation that he "commends" the work being done by Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Horse abuse for ribbons and prizes has to stop Overnight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds Chris Murphy may oppose bipartisan health bill unless it addresses ObamaCare 'sabotage' Key senators release bipartisan package to lower health care costs MORE (D-Wash.), as leaders of the Senate Health Committee, to stabilize the markets, but said lawmakers should try to fix "the ObamaCare mess."

"I'm pleased that Democrats have finally responded to my call for them to take responsibility for their ObamaCare disaster and work with Republicans to provide much needed relief to the American people," Trump said.

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"While I commend the bipartisan work being done by Sens. Alexander and Murray — and I do commend it — I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the ObamaCare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies," he added.

Trump's comments on the Murray-Alexander effort comes days after the White House announced that Trump would end subsidies to insurance companies for lower-income Americans.

The deal reached by Murray and Alexander would provide the disbursements known as cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies for two years, while allowing states greater flexibility to waive the Affordable Care Act's rules.

Trump indicated his support for the effort earlier Tuesday, calling it a "short-term solution."

“They are working together and I know very much what they’re doing,” Trump said, calling it “a short-term solution so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period” for insurance companies.

Still, the bipartisan deal got a cold shoulder from Republicans on Tuesday, suggesting it faces a rocky path to become law.

"We must continue our campaign to repeal and replace the disaster known as ObamaCare," Trump told the audience at Heritage.

Trump sent a tweet shortly before his speech in which he blamed Democrats for any premium hikes for ObamaCare plans after he moved to nix the payments.

“Any increase in ObamaCare premiums is the fault of the Democrats for giving us a ‘product’ that never had a chance of working,” Trump tweeted.