The White House declined to comment on private conversations between Trump and lawmakers. He called it "a great plan" at a celebration he held in the White House Rose Garden to mark its passage through one branch of Congress May 4.
These senators attendance is particularly important, as they have either voiced concerns over key provisions of the House bill or are looking to be important votes for Republicans who can only afford to lose no more than 2 to pass their version of health care reform.
But conservatives would prefer less, and Senate leadership has suggested a three-year phase-out of Medicaid expansion.
Some Republicans had hoped to vote on a bill before July, but time is running out. "We talked a little bit about the tax credit to make that work for low income elderly people", Sen.
"Well, I think we're not anxious so much about that as we are getting it together so we can get a majority to vote for it", said Hatch, a grandee who has served in the Senate for 40 years.
"But we want to brag about the plan, because this plan really - uh oh", Trump began before he was cut off by a laughing audience. The degree to which it alters the house bill at all is unknown, but whatever it is, Republicans are doing everything they can to prevent you from finding out more.
But it also includes more moderate members who are anxious about a bill that would result in larger numbers of uninsured people, higher premiums for older people and rural residents, and defunding of Planned Parenthood. Tom Cotton, Alaska Sen.
The president's criticism also came as Senate Republican leaders' attempts to write their own health care package have been slowed by disagreements between their party's conservatives and moderates. "With health care, you can wake up one morning, and your doctor says, 'You've got breast cancer, ' or 'You've got this problem or that problem'". Portman said the group discussed how to get insurers back in the marketplace quickly. Trump has said he might consider withholding them but insurers say that would wreak havoc in the markets.
The Ohio Republican acknowledged the meeting didn't appear to resolve any differences, but added "that wasn't the goal".
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said if members were paying attention at the weekly meetings on the issue they would have a "pretty solid idea of how it was heading".
"I think the whole point of the meeting was just the television shot of Trump surrounded by Ernst and Murkowski", the aide said. With the press on hand, at least, he avoided going into detail.
"I think [Lee is a no]". Left unsaid was Trump's apparent belief that the House version, which he touted vigorously, wasn't generous or kind, and obviously lacked heart.
"We're not going to ignore anything", he told reporters Tuesday.
Trump has so far largely left the Senate to do its work, remaining hands off through a hard process. His legislative affairs team has been closely involved, but the president himself has been removed - by design, multiple aides say.
It does seem that whatever revisions the Senate comes up with, Trump will likely approve.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said he agreed with Trump's comments on healthcare during an interview on MSNBC.
"That's the part that's moving around on us", he said.
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