Sean Spicer Says Trump Seeks a Health Care Bill With “Heart”

He doesn’t know if the president has reviewed the Republican proposal yet.

Amid mounting outrage over Senate Republican efforts to conceal the contents of a draft bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act, White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted Tuesday that President Donald Trump “clearly” sought a bill that had “heart in it.” 

“He believes that health care is something that is near and dear to so many families and individuals,” Spicer said in his first press briefing in more than a week. “He made it clear from the beginning that was one of his priorities. As the Senate works its way through this bill, as the House did, any ideas are welcome to strengthen it, to make it more affordable, more accessible and deliver the care that it needs.” 

Spicer could not say, however, whether the president has had a chance to review the proposal yet. 

“I don’t know that,” he said. “I know that there was some chatter today. I know the president has been on the phone extensively with the leader and with key senators, so I don’t know if he’s seen the legislation or not.” 

This isn’t the first time Trump has voiced concern over the reform bill. Just last week, Trump reportedly told a room of Republican leaders that he felt the House version was “mean.” He also appeared to be in favor of more spending on the health care plan:

Despite his critiques of the bill’s contents, Trump has largely applauded the process, even hosting a Rose Garden ceremony last month to celebrate the passage in the House of the “incredible” bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 23 million people would lose insurance under that proposal.

Senate Republican leaders have drawn intense criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans for the lack of transparency in drafting the bill, as the Republican leadership has avoided holding hearings or offering a chance for public debate on the legislation. 

Shortly after the briefing Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that Republican senators would finally be allowed to get a glimpse of the bill on Thursday, with plans to send it to the Congressional Budget Office as early as next week. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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