Trump Says Mystery Health Care Bill Has ‘Gotten Really, Really Good’

President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

President Donald Trump heaped vague praise on Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday, saying the current version of the bill has “gotten really, really good.”

Trump was responding to a question from The Hill’s Jordan Fabian, who asked him about the health care effort during a joint White House press conference with Trump and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

“Some people on Capitol Hill believe you can get one of two things next week, a vote on health care or a vote on a government funding bill,” Fabian told Trump, before asking which of the two the President prioritized.

“I want to get both. Are you shocked to hear that?” Trump responded. “And we’re doing very well on health care. We’ll see what happens. But this is a great bill. This is a great plan, and this will be great health care. It’s evolving.”

Murmurs Thursday morning of a compromise bill between the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group — the far-right and centrist House Republican groups, respectively — were tempered a few hours later.

“There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on,” one senior Republican aide told TPM, noting that it wasn’t clear the compromise measure could pass the House.

“You know, there was never a give-up,” Trump continued, apparently referring to Republicans’ failed effort in late March to pass the American Health Care Act through the House.

“The press sort of reported there was like a give-up,” he said. “There’s no give-up. We started. Remember, it took Obamacare 17 months. I’ve really been negotiating this for two months, maybe even less than that, because we had a 30-day period where we did lots of other things, the first 30 days. But this has really been two months, and this is a continuation.”

“The plan gets better and better and better, and it’s gotten really, really good,” Trump continued. “And a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon, I’d like to say next week, but it will be — I believe we will get it, and whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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