White House not letting go of Obamacare repeal

President Donald Trump spent the weekend attacking Senate Republicans for not passing Obamacare repeal, a replacement bill, or even the “skinny bill.” | Evan Vucci/AP

The White House is trying to rebuild momentum for Obamacare repeal after it stalled, yet again, in the GOP Senate last week.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) expected to meet Monday with top aides to President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about health care reform, said a Cassidy aide and Republican officials. Seema Verma, the top Medicaid official, and White House legislative director Marc Short also are expected to attend.

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The meeting comes after Cassidy and Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Dean Heller of Nevada spoke with the president on Friday to discuss their health care proposal.

The Cassidy-Graham proposal hasn’t been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, which would be required if it were to receive a vote under the fast-track budget “reconciliation” procedure. The plan would keep intact most of Obamacare’s taxes except the medical device tax, send federal health care funds to the states in block grants, kill Obamacare’s individual mandate and maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump pressured aides over the weekend to show progress, and the Graham-Cassidy proposal is seen as one possible way forward. Administration officials have sought to bring together Graham and Cassidy, along with conservative Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, to agree on a proposal. For now, the effort is mostly supported by mostly rank-and-file GOP lawmakers.

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