The White House and Republican leaders are planning a “grand bargain” with Democrats to fix the health care system, which President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said they’d be willing to support if they had the votes.
“The Republicans and Democrats are in agreement on how to fix our country’s healthcare system, and if we have the votes, we can do it,” the president said Tuesday.
“I think we have it in the bag.”
The deal would take advantage of Democratic support for health care reform and would end Obamacare’s individual mandate that forces most Americans to buy insurance.
The deal also would extend tax credits for people who purchase insurance on the ACA marketplaces.
The president said the bipartisan plan would also offer tax relief to people with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and that he would announce that it would not include a tax on the wealthy.
“This is a big deal, because it will end the nightmare of deductibles, co-pays, copays, deductibles that many Americans are already experiencing,” Trump said.
“They’re having to pay a lot more for coverage.”
The Republican plan would include $800 billion over 10 years to create a “compassionate” reinsurance program that would help millions of Americans buy insurance through Medicaid.
The plan would allow states to expand Medicaid to more people, with states paying the costs of the expanded program for people with low incomes and for seniors.
Trump said that the plan would not cut taxes for individuals and families earning more than $200,000 a year, or for individuals with annual incomes of more than 400 percent.
“We’re going to get the taxes out of the hands of the rich and into the hands [of] the people who actually need it,” he said.
The White, House and Senate are working on a plan that would be a “comprehensive” package of health care fixes that would come into effect by next year, Trump said Tuesday, though the details of the plan have not yet been revealed.
Trump also touted a recent meeting he had with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) and Sen-elect Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), who will be confirmed to be the new Senate majority leader on Monday.
The meeting, which was first reported by The Hill, focused on the future of the health law and the future role of the House Republican conference.
“It was a really good meeting,” Trump told reporters after the meeting.
“He’s the guy that got us to this point in the health-care process.”
The meeting was a rare example of cooperation between the president and Ryan, who Trump fired in May.
Trump, who has called Ryan a “lightweight” and a “weak” and called him a “loser” on several occasions, is scheduled to travel to the House on Monday to attend the opening of a new $1.1 trillion medical research center.
He is also expected to deliver a speech on Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“When I meet with my own people, they know I’m very focused on this issue,” Trump, a member of the Heritage group, told reporters Monday.
“What we have to do is get out of Washington and get a plan in place that we can support and get on the path to getting this done.
That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The president also praised Ryan’s decision to not seek reelection.
“With the right team, I think we can get this done,” he told reporters.
Ryan has said he will not seek a third term in the Senate after his term expires in 2022.
Trump and Ryan were also expected Tuesday to meet in the White House briefing room, though Trump said the two would not be talking to reporters.
The two have yet to publicly endorse each other’s health care plans.
The President said he has “no doubt” that the two will agree on a bipartisan health care bill that will pass both chambers.
“So it’s a great day for Republicans in Congress, but we’re not going to do this by ourselves,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.