Trump met Senate Republicans on ObamaCare fix

Trump met Senate Republicans on ObamaCare fix
© Greg Nash

A group of Republican senators met with President Trump at the White House on Thursday to push him to support a bipartisan ObamaCare fix, according to a Senate GOP aide. 

The meeting with the president, which was first reported by Politico, was attended by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (R-S.C.), Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyIvanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation Bipartisan senators ask industry for information on surprise medical bills Virginia abortion bill reignites national debate MORE (R-La.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderCongress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees Key doctors group faces political risks on guns MORE (R-Tenn.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBusiness, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Maine).  
 
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Collins and another moderate, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks MORE (R-Alaska), have indicated that passing Alexander-Murray would help ease their concerns about the spike in premiums from repealing the mandate. 
 
Getting Trump's support for that measure would help ease its passage, especially through the House, where many Republicans are opposed to it as a bailout of insurance companies. 
 
Trump, though, has sent mixed messages.
 
The Senate GOP aide said the conversation about the Alexander-Murray bill during the meeting on Thursday was "encouraging" but did not say there were any commitments from the president. 
 
Asked about the meeting and the White House's position on Alexander-Murray, a White House spokesman issued a general statement. 
 
"The President and Senators Graham, Cassidy, Collins, and Alexander had a productive meeting yesterday where they discussed the ongoing efforts to pass historic tax reform and other legislative objectives," the spokesman said. "The President is pleased with the momentum that has gathered behind finding solutions to these important issues and looks forward to continued cooperation with Congress in order to enact them as soon as possible."
 
A major obstacle for the idea of pairing Alexander-Murray with repealing the mandate in tax reform, though, is that Democrats have rejected that trade. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Christie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects MORE (N.Y.) said this week that Democrats would block the Alexander-Murray bill if the GOP goes forward with repealing the mandate. 
 
Several experts also say that Alexander-Murray, which is aimed at stabilizing markets by continuing key payments for insurers, would not cancel out the destabilizing effects of repealing the mandate, which could lead to a lack of healthy people signing up and a rise in premiums. 
 
The Congressional Budget Office has found that repealing the mandate would increase premiums by 10 percent, but that markets would continue to be stable in almost all areas of the country.