During the White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled that the administration is committed to the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare unveiled by House leadership earlier this week.
“This bill will land on the President’s desk. He will sign it. We will repeal Obamacare and put in place a system patient-centered that will allow the American people to have greater choice and lower costs,” Spicer told reporters after several questions about what parts of the bill President Donald Trump is willing to have changed.
One reporter noted that some conservatives have been pushing for return to a 2015 repeal bill that was vetoed by former President Obama, but Spicer suggested the White House was not looking at any options other than the House leadership’s bill.
“I think the effort that’s going through right now is the vehicle that’s got—is what people are on board with,” he said.
The press secretary was also asked about Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) opposition to the House bill.
“Well, we’re going to engage,” Spicer said when first asked about Cotton’s qualms. “We’ll continue to talk to any senator that has questions or concerns or ideas.”
“No matter where you are, especially on the conservative side, you cannot possibly believe that the current health care system is an effective program,” Spicer added. “It is a monstrosity. It’s a government gone wrong.”
Asked about Cotton’s concerns that the House bill could make the American health system “worse than Obamacare,” Spicer said he “respectfully” disagreed and signaled openness to Cotton’s ideas for improvement.
“We’re not jamming this down people’s throat,” he insisted. “We’re welcoming ideas and thoughts. We think this is a great vehicle to restore a patient-centered health care bill to drive down costs. And I think Sen. Cotton clearly recognizes that the current version of health care out there right now is not sustainable. And so we welcome him—his input into this process.”