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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that President Donald Trump wants the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill to be compassionate, but he wouldn’t say if the president has issues with the current form of the bill.
“The president clearly wants a bill that has heart in it,” Spicer said. “He believes that healthcare is near and dear to so many families and individuals. He made it clear from the beginning that was one of his priorities and he hopes the Senate works through this bill as the House did. Any ideas are welcome to strengthen it, to make it more affordable, more accessible
The comments followed a report from CNBC’s Eamon Javers that the president told a meeting of tech CEOs Monday that the Senate’s version of a healthcare bill needs “more heart.”
Trump also told a luncheon of GOP senators last week that the House’s version of the American Health Care Act was “mean.”
When pressed what if the “more heart” comments on Monday meant that Trump had issues with aspects of the Senate law, Spicer demurred.
“I’m not going to get into private discussions that he’s had,” Spicer said. “But, the more we can do to produce a bill as it goes through this process that achieves the president’s goals, that’s something we can all agree on.”
Senate Republican leadership is finalizing the legislative text of the bill, and expects to have a vote on its by next Friday. According to reports, the bill could increase spending from the House version on things like tax credits to help people access insurance, but also make deeper cuts to the Medicaid program.
Spicer said he did not know if Trump had seen any legislative text of the bill, but did confirm the president had a discussion with Senate GOP leadership on Tuesday and said members of the administration were giving input on the bill.
The exact details of the healthcare legislation are unclear, as the bill has not been made public.