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. 

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate