So much for that rare moment of bipartisan agreement. On Tuesday, it momentarily looked like Democrats and Republicans might come together to pass a health care bill to help stabilize the Obamacare insurance exchanges. But on Wednesday, the Tweeter in Chief quashed those bipartisan hopes.
I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co's who have made a fortune w/ O'Care.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
The bill in question was written by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The deal is a modest one, giving a bit to both sides but not fundamentally altering the Affordable Care Act. For Democrats, the bill would thwart some of Trump’s efforts to sabotage Obamacare—it would restore reimbursements to insurance companies that Trump has attempted to end and increase funding for outreach efforts designed to encourage people to sign people up for insurance. For Republicans, the bill offers more flexibility to states asking for waivers from some Obamacare rules, and it opens up catastrophic plans to everyone (currently those are just available to people who are younger than 30 or who qualify for specific exemptions).
President Trump’s views on this deal have flipped all over the place this week. On Tuesday, before the deal was announced, Trump seemed to offer support in a press conference. Trump followed that up during a speech Tuesday night, where he managed to both praise the deal and suggest he might oppose it, saying “I commend the bipartisan work done by Senators Alexander and Murray—and I do commend it—I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies.” With his tweet on Wednesday, Trump seemed to end chances of the bill passing—at least until the next time the president changes his mind.